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OU_1 58587 


Such is the unity of all history that anyone who 
endeavours to tell a piece of it must feel that his 
first sentence tears a seamless web. 








K.C.I.E., C.B., C.M.G. 
















"RETRIBUTION . . . . . . . .38 












THE SECOND AFGHAN WAR . . . . . .no 





DEPENDENCIES . . . . . . . 151 


MISSION . . . . . . . . 1,58 















WAR ......... 246 



AMANULLA KHAN ....... 264 








KING OF AFGHANISTAN . . . . . .318 





KING ZAHIR SHAH, 1933 ..... 327 

EPILOGUE . . . . . . . . -337 

APPENDIX A: The Simla Manifesto . . . ^ -339 

B: The Treaty of Capitulation .... 344 

C: Agreement between His Highness Amir Abdur Rah- 
man Khan, G. C.S.I., and Sir Henry Mortimer 
Durand, K.C.I.E., C.S.I ..... 352 

D: Translation of the Treaty . . . - 355 

E: Articles of the Anglo-Russian Agreement as affecting 

Afghanistan. . . . . . 356 

F: The Treaty of Peace of August 8, 1919 . . 358 

G: Note on Proposals of the British and Afghan Govern- 

ments for a Treaty of Friendship . .360 

H: The Treaty ...... 

LIST OF AUTHORITIES . . . . . . 371 

INDEX ......... 377 


H.M. Kin Muhammad Zahir Shah .... Frontispiece 


The Kabul Gate of Ghazni 1 1 

The City of Kabul from the Bala Hissar . . . 19 

Sirdar Akbar Khan 3 1 

Lord Mayo receives Amir Shir Ali Khan at Ambala, 1869 . .78 

Maiwand : The Last Stand H3 

Amir Abdur Rahman Khan . . . . . . 1 54 

The Pul-i-Khisti . .163 

The Zulfikar Pass, looking north-east . . . . .163 
H.M. King Habibulla Khan 228 


Sketch Map No. i 273 

Sketch Map No. 2 275 

Sketch Map No. 12 277 

In pocket : Iran and Afghanistan, 2nd ed. of 1938. By 
special courtesy of the Geographical Section, General Staff. 



The inhabitants of Kabul manifested the most complete indifference to 
their new sovereign, and expressed no sign of welcome or satisfaction at his 
accession to the throne. Evidently their hearts and affections were with their 
previous sovereign, now a wanderer beyond the Hindu Kush. SIR GEORGE 

Lord Auckland settles his Policy. During the siege of 
Herat, McNeill had sent Major Todd on a mission to 
induce Auckland to adopt vigorous measures against 
Persia, since the fall of Herat, in his opinion, was 
imminent. The Board of Control of the East India 
Company, realizing the aggressive spirit of Russia, had 
alsJb urged the Governor-General to take strong action in 
defence of their eastern possessions. The siege of Herat 
by Muhammad Shah and his claims to the sovereignty of 
Kandahar undoubtedly constituted a serious menace to 
the British in India, and it was clear that a barrier of some 
sort against invasion from the west was essential. It would 
have been thought that Dost Muhammad was the best man 
to support and subsidize, but so influenced was Auckland 
by Wade's views of the importance of decrepit Ranjit Singh, 
and also by his own policy of restraining Sikh designs of 
aggression on Sind, that, having abandoned all ideas of 
utilizing the Amir, his thoughts turned to the Maharaja. 

The Mission of Macnaghten to Ranjit Singh. In May 
1838 Macnaghten was accordingly despatched to Lahore 
on a Mission to discuss the question with the Sikh ruler. 
Received with due pomp and ceremony, the British 
envoy referred to the treaty which the Maharaja had made 
with Shah Shuja, and suggested that the British Govern- 
ment should become a party to it. " This ", replied 
Ranjit, " would be adding sugar to milk." Upon the 



receipt of this satisfactory answer, Macnaghten went on 
to say that the Governor-General would supply Shah 
Shuja with money and officers. It was finally decided 
that the ex- Amir would march on Kandahar, while a 
Sikh force, with Timur, the son of Shah Shuja, would 
march on Kabul via Peshawar. The Maharaja, generally 
speaking, was not disposed to help the scheme enthusi- 
astically, since he realized that, if it were successful, the 
power of the British would be increased to his own detri- 
ment, as also would that of Shah Shuja. Moreover, he 
was aware that the Khalsa feared the Khaibar Pass and 
its warlike custodians. Finally, he realized that he was 
to pull the chestnuts out of the fire or, to quote the 
apposite Persian metaphor, " the beak of appetite was to 
be tempted by the fruit of conquest and the berries of 
revenge ". However, the Tripartite Treaty was duly 
signed on July 16 by Shah Shuja and on July 23 by the 
Maharaja. 1 It was in effect a treaty between Ranjit 
Singh and Shah Shuja, which the British Government 

The Instructions of the Board of Control. In Mffj? 
1838 Auckland had drawn up a minute in which he laid 
down that the only solution of the Afghan problem was 
the restoration of Shah Shuja to the throne, and it is a 
curious fact which deserves mention that, just before this 
minute reached England, the Board of Control, on 
October 24, recommended the very course which the 
Governor-General had decided to adopt. At the same 
time it was left to the discretion of Lord Auckland to 
make another effort to gain over Dost Muhammad an& 
his brothers. 2 Unfortunately, when this letter reached 
India on January 16, 1839, a British army was on its 
way to invade Afghanistan. It was too late. 

The Decision to despatch a British Force to Kabul. 
Macnaghten explained to the Governor-General that 

1 This lengthy document is given in full by Kaye, op. cif. vol. i, pp. 332-335. By its 
terms Shah Shuja relinquished all claims on the provinces in the possession of Ranjit 
Singh. He also engaged to pay him annually 2 lakhs of rupees in return for his armed 
support in case of need. 

2 The text of this letter is given in John Russell Colvin, by Sir Auckland Colvin, 
pp. 124-128. 


Ranjit Singh refused to accept the full responsibility that 
it had been desired to lay upon him, while it was very 
difficult to believe that Shah Shuja could, within a 
reasonable time, raise and discipline a force which would 
ensure him success. Consequently, in July, Auckland 
came to the conclusion that a British force must be sent 
to Kabul to set Shah Shuja on the throne. It is only right, 
at this pgint, to place on record a letter which Burnes 
wrote to Macnaghten : l " It remains to be reconsidered 
why we cannot act with Dost Muhammad. He is a man 
of undoubted ability, and has at heart a high opinion of 
the British nation ; and if half you must do for others 
were done for him, and offers made which he could see 
conduced to his interests, he would abandon Russia and 
Persia tomorrow." Unfortunately Auckland and his 
chief advisers lacked vision and insight, and the stage 
was set for the First Afghan War. 

The Simla Manifesto of October i, 1838. While a 
British force was being assembled, the Governor-General 
issued a Manifesto which denounced the attitude of 
Dost Muhammad, whose defensive measures against Sikh 
aggression at the mouth of the Khaibar appear in this 
document as " a sudden and unprovoked attack upon the 
troops of our ancient ally Ranjit Singh ". Indeed the 
Manifesto, which is given in full in Appendix A, might 
in some parts have been drafted by the Maharaja himself. 
To quote Sir Henry Durand: " In order to repel the 
shadow of Russian aggression, we had resolved to force 
Shah Shuja, a weakened worthless exile, upon the Afghan 
people, till then well disposed towards us; and this great 
and unprovoked injustice, the cause of all our subsequent 
troubles in Afghanistan, was to be effected by military 
measures of which the rashness and folly seem at the 
present day almost inconceivable ". 2 To quote Keene: 
" The only parallel to Auckland's policy was Louis XIV 
endeavouring to expel William of Orange, to make room 
for James Stuart ". 3 

1 Dated June 2, 1838. 

2 Life of Sir Henry Durand, by Henry Mortimer Durand, vol. i, p. 40. 

3 History of India, by H. G. Keene, vol. ii, p. 143. 


The Raising of the Siege of Herat. Before the pro- 
clamation was issued, the Shah, as we have seen, had 
retired baffled from Herat in September 1838. Surely, 
on the disappearance of the Russo-Persian menace, it 
would have been the obvious course to have cancelled the 
military expedition and to have assisted Dost Muhammad 
by subsidies to strengthen his position in Afghanistan. 
The Tripartite Treaty had, of course, to be tjken into 
consideration, but it did not pledge the British Govern- 
ment to march troops into Afghanistan, and it seems clear 
that the invasion of that country should, under the new 
conditions, have been cancelled. 

The Army of the Indus. The British army for the 
invasion of Afghanistan was assembled at Ferozepur, 450 
miles distant from Sukkur, the point at which the Indus 
would be crossed. From Sukkur to Kandahar was 400 
miles, and from that city to Kabul was 325 miles. The 
original plan was that two Bengal divisions and one 
Bombay division should be employed, in case it might be 
necessary to attack the Persian army besieging Herat. 
Owing to the retreat of that force, the expeditionary arnty 
was reduced to one Bengal and one Bombay Division 
under Sir John Keane, the Bombay Commander- in - 

The Organization of Transport and Supplies. Army 
transport, as we know it today, did not exist. To quote 
Macmunn: " The Indian Army supplied itself from a 
huge moving city of shops, which followed it a-pack-a- 
back. . . . The regimental merchants and agents fed the 
men in staples; shoes and equipments were mended irt 
the bazaars, and every requisite, legitimate or otherwise, 
except fighting-stores and equipment could be bought 
from the hucksters and sutlers who followed the army. 
. . . The huge numbers of followers who maintained 
these shops, pitched tents, and the like, made sanitation 
beyond the power of man to establish, and when cholera 
came it swept the camps." x 

The Contingent of Shah Shuja. The force raised by 
Shah Shuja consisted of six battalions of infantry, two 

' Afghanistan^ by Lieut.-Gcneral Sir George Macmunn, pp. 117-118. 


irregular cavalry regiments and one battery of horse 
artillery. Recruiting was necessarily hurried, but, under 
picked British officers, the Gurkhas, the Hindustani and 
Punjabi Moslems soon improved and constituted a force 
some 6000 strong. 

The Appointments of Mr. W. H. Macnaghten and of 
Sir Alexander Burnes. The very important post of 
" Envoy and Minister on the part of the Government of 
India at *the Court of Shah Shuja-ul-Mulk " was given 
to Macnaghten. At the same time Burnes was to be 
employed " under Mr. Macnaghten's directions, as envoy 
to the chief of Kalat or other states ". Auckland ex- 
plained to him that when the Kalat province had been 
crossed he would regard him as " an independent political 
officer to cooperate with Macnaghten ". 

The Line of March. Owing to the objections of 
Ranjit Singh to the British army traversing the Punjab, 
it was decided that the line of march should run in a 
south-westerly direction through Bahawalpur and Sind, 
striking down to the Indus and crossing that river at 
Sukkur, an island fortress opposite Sukkur. From the 
Indus it would turn north-west to Shikarpur, would 
travers^ the Bolan Pass to Quetta and thence across the 
Khojak Pass to Kandahar. It was much the same route 
as that followed by the ex-Amir in his last unsuccessful 
attempt to regain the throne. It was also decided that 
Shah Shuja should raise a large sum of money from the 
Amirs of Sind, although they held two releases written 
in Korans duly signed and sealed by him. In the event 
these Chiefs were treated with injustice and harshness. 

The March to Bukkur. The main British force, 
marching in the cold season and supplied to some extent 
with water transport, found the first section of the long 
march easy, but the Amir of Khairpur, who owned the 
ancient fortress of Bukkur, situated on the island in the 
Indus where it had to be crossed, hesitated to allow the 
British to occupy it. Indeed, after his acceptance of the 
treaty by which it was to be ceded, powder-bags accom- 
panied the detachment of the troops which was sent to 
receive possession, by way of precaution, in case it should 


be found necessary to blow in the gate. 1 

The March of the Bombay Division. In December 
1838 the Bombay division under Sir John Keane landed 
at the mouth of the Indus, where Sir Henry Pottinger 
informed him of the hostility of the Amirs of Haiderabad. 
Keane thereupon called for the despatch of a reserve force, 
which arrived at Karachi early in February 1839. Since 
fire was opened by the Karachi fort, it was bombarded 
and seized by the British. In the meanwhile tne Bengal 
division which had reached Bukkur had started to march 
down the Indus to support Keane, and the vacillating 
Amirs now realized that they must submit. They 
accordingly signed a treaty by the terms of which they 
paid tribute to the British, and the Bombay division joined 
the main force without further incident. 

The March up the Bolan Pass. The Bengal division 
now advanced to Shikarpur without experiencing diffi- 
culty as to supplies, but the next section of the march 
to Dadur, 146 miles in length, lay across an arid and more 
or less waterless tract. At Dadur little in the way of 
supplies had been collected, and Sir Willoughby Cottowj 
who was in command, decided to draw on the month's 
supply which accompanied his force, and thus* relying 
entirely on this reserve, entered the difficult Bolan Pass. 
Burnes had been successful in arranging for the repre- 
sentative of the Khan of Kalat to accompany the column 
but, even so, the sixty miles of rocks and sand constituting 
the Pass, which wore to the quick the hoofs of the trans- 
port, its scanty grazing and its water tainted by bodies 
of camels which had fallen by the way, entailed much 
sickness and a serious loss of artillery horses and camels. 
Fortunately there was no concerted attack by the wild 
Baluchi tribesmen. 

On March 26, 1839, the tired Bengal column reached 
the delightful upland of Shal, with Quetta (still known as 
Shalkot in Persia), then a miserable mud fort, situated on 
a mound. The force, which was most unwisely ordered 

1 Mir Rustam of Khairpur told Burnes that the cession of his fortress would ruin his 
good reputation unless Karachi or some other fort were seized from the Haiderabad Amirs. 
He must therefore have been delighted to hear of the bombardment and capture of 


by Keane to halt until his arrival, was now faced with 
famine, in arid Baluchistan, and Cotton perforce reduced 
the rations of the troops to one-half, while those of the 
unfortunate followers were reduced to one-quarter. For 
eleven days the force halted, idly consuming supplies 
and losing efficiency from lack of proper rations, alike for 
man and beast. No advantage was taken of this oppor- 
tunity to send out reconnaissance parties to survey and 
report on the Khojak Pass. There was apparently no 
intelligence department in existence at that period. 

The Mission of Burnes to the Khan of Kalat. Burnes 
visited Mehrab Khan, the Chief of Kalat, who provided 
a small quantity of grain there had been a blight in the 
previous year and a considerable number of sheep. 
He frankly told his guest that the British might restore 
Shah Shuja to the throne, but that the Afghans were 
opposed to him and that we should fail in the end. He 
somewhat unwillingly sealed a treaty by the terms of 
which, in return for an annual subsidy of ij lakhs of 
rupees, he agreed to " use his best endeavours to procure 
cupplies, carriage and guards " in the Kalat province. 
Actually he had good reason to dislike Shah Shuja, 
whom Hfe had succoured on his former campaign and now 
charged with ingratitude; alleging illness, he refused to 
visit him. 

The Advance on Kandahar. In due course the main 
body of the army and the Shah, with his contingent, 
reached Quetta. Letters were received from the Kandahar 
Barakzai brothers, who were anxious to negotiate for 
terms and were, it was clear, most unlikely to resist. 
Shah Shuja thereupon led the advance across the Khojak 
Pass, and, upon approaching Kandahar, was met by some 
of the leading Chiefs, who were rewarded with lavish 
gifts of money. 

The Entry of Shah Shuja into Kandahar. On April 25, 
with pomp and circumstance, Shah Shuja re-entered 
Kandahar. He was warmly welcomed by the towns- 
people, according to the reports received by Macnaghten, 
but it would appear that many of the influential Chiefs 
waited to see how events would shape themselves before 


giving their allegiance to an Amir who was supported 
by a British army and who was considered to be unlucky. 
The Barakzai brothers, in the first instance, proceeded to 
Girishk and then rode off to Seistan. They received offers 
of a residence in India with allowances, but preferred to 
retain their liberty, hoping, no doubt, that the British 
troops would before long be withdrawn. 

The Position at Kandahar. Keane had now accom- 
plished one of the main objects of the expeflition and 
decided to rest his force and reorganize his transport 
train. The question of supplies was unsatisfactory, 
those available at Kandahar being scanty, but the crops 
were ripe and would soon be harvested. 

The Mission to Herat. After the retreat of the Persian 
army, Pottinger and Stoddart had remained at Herat to 
help its unfortunate inhabitants, who were starving. Yar 
Muhammad, the main source of whose income was slave- 
dealing, was hostile to the activities of the British officers. 
Later, Stoddart was instructed to proceed to Bukhara, 
where he was imprisoned and murdered by its ruler, 
while Pottinger was insulted and his house was attacked 
by the retainers of Yar Muhammad in January 1839. 
At the same time the infamous Vizier opened up'relations 
with the Persian Court and the Kandahar brothers, with 
a view to opposing the reinstatement of Shah Shuja. 
Needless to say the Persian Court declined to take any 
open part in this policy. 

Upon the arrival of the British at Kandahar, Yar 
Muhammad hastened to congratulate the British. Mac- 
naghten thereupon decided to send a Mission to Herat 
under Major Todd, who had been a member of the British 
Military Mission in Persia, to replace Pottinger. With 
him were James Abbot and Richmond Shakespear, both 
of whom subsequently won fame in Central Asia. Their 
Mission included the conciliation of the good-will of 
Shah Kamran and of Yar Muhammad, the strengthening 
of the fortifications at Herat and the determination as 
far as was possible of the boundaries of the province. 
They were supplied with guns and considerable sums of 


The Position of Dost Muhammad. The peaceful 
occupation by the British of Kandahar hardly astonished 
the Amir but nevertheless it constituted a blow to his 
position, since news reached him that the neighbouring 
Chiefs, won over by gold, were joining his enemy. He 
had despatched Akbar Khan to hold the passes against 
the Sikh army, which was assembling at Peshawar; 
another son, Haider Khan, garrisoned Ghazni, and Afzal 
Khan l with a body of cavalry was stationed in the vicinity 
of the fortress. It had been reported that the British 
would march on Herat and again that they would mask 
Ghazni and march on Kabul. In any case the position of 
Dost Muhammad was one of very great difficulty. 

The Advance up the Khaibar Pass of the Sikh Force. 
Before describing the advance of the British army on 
Ghazni and Kabul, a brief notice of Prince Timur and his 
Sikh supporters is called for. Accompanied by Wade, he 
left Lahore in January 1839 and recruited troops at 
Peshawar with some difficulty, as the Sikh Commander 
thwarted his schemes by endeavouring to gain allies for 
Ranjit Singh. That potentate died on June 29, before 
the forcing of the Khaibar Pass by Wade's force, entirely 
by meafhs of his own troops, helped to complete the suc- 
cess of a campaign in which he wished the British to be 

The Advance on Ghazni^ June 27, 1839. Towards 
the end of June it was decided to march on Kabul. 
Optimistic Macnaghten guaranteed Keane that not a shot 
would be fired, and proposed that the Bombay division 
should be left at Kandahar. The British leader mis- 
trusted Macnaghten 's predictions and insisted on thie 
army being kept as a united force. He was, however, 
persuaded by the officer commanding the artillery to 
leave behind the four 1 8-pounders, his only siege guns. 
Accordingly, two battalions of Indian troops, a body of 
the Shah's cavalry and the siege guns were left to hold 
Kandahar. Partly owing to the Ghilzai tribesmen being 
engaged in harvesting operations, the column was not 

1 Afzal Khan was the eldest son and the father of Abdur Rahman Khan, the great 


attacked on the march. Ghazni, however, with its parapet 
rising to a height of 70 feet and surrounded by a wide 
wet ditch, in the absence of siege guns, appeared to be as 
impregnable as Afghans boasted that it was. Fortun- 
ately, however, a traitor gave the priceless information 
that, although most of the city gates had been built up, 
the Kabul gate had been left open presumably to serve 
as a bolt-hole. Supplies had fallen short, and^rejecting 
the suggestion of the Chief Engineer to mask th'e fortress 
and march on Kabul, Keane gave orders to carry Ghazni 
by a coup de main. 

Sir Henry Durand, at that time a lieutenant in the 
Bengal Engineers, was ordered to lead the powder party, 
and since the exploit was the crowning achievement of 
the campaign, I am giving a full account of it: 

The morning star was high in the heavens, and the first red 
streak of approaching morning was on the horizon, when the 
explosion party stepped forward to its duty. In perfect silence, led 
by the engineer Durand, they advanced to within 150 yards of the 
works, when a challenge from the walls, a shot, and a shout, told 
that the party was discovered. Instantly the garrison were on the 
alert; their musketry rang free and quick from the ramparts, and 
blue lights suddenly glared on the top of the battlements, Brilliantly 
illuminating the approach to the gate. A raking fire from the low 
outer works, which swept the bridge at half pistol-shot, would have 
annihilated the engineers and their men, but, strange to say, though 
the ramparts flashed fire from every loophole, the bridge was passed 
without a shot from the lower works, at the sally-port of which 
the engineer Peat took post, prepared, with a small party of the 
1 3th, to repel any sally of swordsmen. Without a blow from a 
sword or a shot from the lower works, and without the loss of 
a man from the heavy fire of the battlements, Durand reached 
the gate, and having laid the first bag of powder containing 
the end of the hose, man after man stepped up, deposited his 
powder, and retired as they had advanced, in single file, edging 
the foot of the wall, and under the eye and charge of the engineer 
Macleod. 1 

To continue the narrative: there was some delay 
owing to the portfire not immediately igniting, but 
finally " a column of flame and smoke rising above the 

1 The First Afghan War^ by Major-General Sir Henry Durand, pp. 177-178. 


gateway and followed by a dull heavy report, proved that 
the charge was sprung ". 

Then followed a delay. Peat's bugler had been killed 
and, by mistake, a bugler with the main column sounded 
the retreat. Fortunately the error was speedily rectified; 
the storming column charged cheering through the gate- 
way to be followed by the main column, and Ghazni 
was captured by storm, with slight losses in killed and 
wounded, on July 23, 1839. 

At that time the Victoria Cross had not been instituted, 
but, some forty years later, Durand's exploit was com- 
memorated by the foundation of a " Durand Medal ", 
which is still awarded to Indian officers of the Corps of 
Sappers and Miners. The troops were honoured by a 
special Ghazni medal, and the storming party of the 1 3th 
Somerset Light Infantry gained a mural crown as a 
distinction for the regiment. 

The Flight of Dost Muhammad. The capture of 
Ghazni struck terror among the Afghans and paralysed 
the resistance of Dost Muhammad. He sent his brother, 
the Nawab Jabbar Khan, to the British camp with the 
proposal that the Amir should be prime minister to Shah 
Shuja, But Macnaghten coldly refused it, offering in its 
stead an " honourable asylum " in India. Jabbar Khan 
declined and left the camp. 

To his army encamped at Urghundeh Dost Muham- 
mad made one final appeal with the Koran in his hand, 
calling upon his adherents to remember that they were 
Moslems and adjuring them to fight the invading British 
6r to die. However, his supporters were thunderstruck 
by the storming of Ghazni and not only was he deserted, 
but his camp was looted by his personal servants. Realiz- 
ing the situation, the Amir, encumbered with women and 
children, fled, and although hotly pursued, escaped to 
Balkh. His intention had been to take refuge in Persia, 
but being offered an asylum by Nasrulla Khan of Bukhara 
he proceeded to the Court of the Uzbeg Amir. 

The Occupation of Kabul. Keane halted a week at 
Ghazni, which was found to be well stocked with supplies, 
and, leaving a garrison to hold it, marched on towards 


his goal. No opposition was offered, and on August 7 
Shah Shuja, without a show of welcome by his subjects, 
made his public entry into Kabul, thirty years after having 
fled the country. Thanks to British gold and British 
bayonets, he had been restored to the throne of his 



A mock King; a civil administration hated because under foreign dictation 
and dissonant from the feelings of the Afghans; an envoy, the real King, 
ruling by gleam of British bayonets, and thus enabled to impose his measures 
however crude or unpalatable; a large army> raising by its consumption the 
price of provisions, and preying on the resources of a very poor country; these 
were the inevitable concomitants of having shrunk from at once, in good faith 
and in good policy, withdrawing the British army, while the moral impression 
made by its entire success was fresh and deep upon the Afghan mind. SIR 

The Views of Lord Auckland. The objects of the 
Army of the Indus, which were the expulsion of Dost 
Muhammad, together with his brothers who ruled at 
Kandahar, and the restoration of Shah Shuja to the throne, 
had been accomplished. Dost Muhammad and his two 
sons, A*zal and Akbar, had fled to Bukhara and had 
virtually been made prisoners by the Uzbeg ruler. The 
tribes had submitted and, in Macnaghten's opinion, 
although this was not the general view, had welcomed 
Shuja. It now apparently only remained to redeem Auck- 
land's promise that " when once he (Shah Shuja) shall be 
secured in power, and the independence and integrity 
of Afghanistan established, the British army will be with- 
drawn ".' 

There were many weighty objections to the continued 
occupation of Afghanistan by British troops. It was, 
however, the considered opinion of Auckland that were 
British troops entirely withdrawn, Shah Shuja would 
not be able to maintain himself, and that, to withdraw 
them and then to be followed down the Khaibar Pass by 
a refugee Amir, would constitute a disgrace which the 

1 In this chapter I have consulted Forty-three Tears in India> by Lieut.-General Sir 
George Lawrence, a work, based on his letters, which, owing to his position as Military 
Secretary to Macnaghten, is of the greatest value. 



Government was not prepared to face. The Governor- 
General accordingly laid down that a brigade of all arms 
should be sufficient to keep Shuja on the throne and that 
the rest of the army should be withdrawn. It is to be 
noted that the war was already constituting a very serious 
drain on Indian finances. 

The Withdrawal of British Troops. Keane, whose 
views coincided with those of the Governor-Gqieral, led 
a column of troops, which included horse artillery and 
cavalry, down the Khaibar Pass to India in October, 
The turbulent Afridis had been promised their customary 
allowances by Shah Shuja but, since his promise was not 
implemented, they attacked Ak Masjid and harassed 
detachments until Macnaghten decided to pay the recog- 
nized sums. 

The Storming of Kalat. The Bombay division was 
ordered to march back to India through the Bolan Pass, 
It turned aside to storm Kalat, where the behaviour of 
Mehrab Khan was considered to have been unsatisfactory. 
The Indian troops, who had not taken part in the storming 
of Ghazni, covered themselves with glory, since the fort 
was very strong and the resistance offered was desperate. 
It would appear that Mehrab Khan, who was kiTled, did 
not deserve his fate, but was betrayed by his own retainers. 
As a result of this successful operation, Shal, Mastung 
and Cutch were added to the domains of Shah Shuja, 

The Arrival at Kabul of Colonel Wade and Prince Timur. 
To return to Wade, his task at Peshawar was a difficult 
one. Ranjit Singh was dead; his representatives were 
bent on increasing the influence of Lahore and the SikhS 
feared the Khaibar Pass. Finally, Timur proved to be a 
nonentity. Nothing daunted, however, Wade enlisted a 
motley force which was disciplined by capable British 
officers, and as mentioned above, forcing the Khaibar Pass, 
the column attacked Ak Masjid. The artillery bombard- 
ment disheartened the garrison, which was not supported 
by Akbar Khan, he having been recalled to the capital by 
Dost Muhammad. The stronghold was consequently 
evacuated and no further opposition was encountered. 
On September 3, Wade, to whom much credit is due 


on this occasion, reached Kabul with a body of troops 
which constituted a reinforcement. While at Peshawar 
he had also corresponded with various important Chiefs 
at Kabul and had done much to undermine the position 
of Dost Muhammad. 

The Distribution of Troops in Afghanistan. By a 
general order dated October 9, under the command of 
Major-General Sir Willoughby Cotton, the I3th Light 
Infantry, three guns of No. 6 Light Field Battery and 
the 35th Native Infantry were to remain at Kabul and 
to be accommodated in the Bala Hissar. The 48th Native 
Infantry, the 4th Brigade and 2nd Cavalry were to be 
cantoned at Jalalabad. Ghazni was to be garrisoned by 
the 1 6th Native Infantry, by a squadron of Skinner's 
Horse and by detachments of the Shah's contingeat. 
Finally, under Major -General Nott, Kandahar was to 
be held by the 42nd and 43rd Native Infantry, with 
the 4th Co. 2nd Battalion Artillery, two squadrons of 
Skinner's Horse and some of the Shah's contingent. 

The Despatch of Troops to Bamian. The danger to 
the restored monarchy in Afghanistan lay principally in 
the possibility of Dost Muhammad returning to Afghan 
Turkistan and raising a force in that area. Accordingly a 
detachment of Shah Shuja's army with some field artillery 
was despatched to garrison Bamian during the winter 
a dangerous dispersal of troops. Dr. Lord, the political 
officer, created local hostility by attacking a Hazara 
fort whose inhabitants had refused to sell their scanty 
supplies of forage, on which their own cattle depended 
ift the winter. The assailants fired the forage and the 
unfortunate Hazaras were burned alive or shot. He also 
pushed forward troops to Bajgah and occupied Saighan, 
situated on the northern slopes of the Hindu Kush. 
Although these forward movements resulted in Jabbar 
Khan placing himself and the family of Dost Muhammad 
under British protection, the political effect was unsatis- 
factory and attacks were made on these outlying detach- 
ments, which were ultimately withdrawn. 

The King and Macnaghten proceed to Jalalabad. In 
the autumn the King and Macnaghten, in accordance 


with the usual custom of the Afghan rulers, left for 
Jalalabad, and Burnes, whose advice had apparently not 
been sought by Macnaghten, was left in temporary 
political charge. The economic position at Kabul was 
unsatisfactory, since the cost of living had been raised 
by the purchase of large quantities of supplies at high 
prices for the use of troops. The grain and forage that 
were grown in the neighbourhood did not suffix for the 
supply of the large demands made by the British. 

The Russian Expedition against Khiva. Upon receiv- 
ing information of Perovski's expedition, which is 
described in Chapter XXXV, Macnaghten, who feared 
that the occupation of Khiva would have been followed 
by that of Bukhara, seriously thought of despatching a 
British force against the latter state in order to forestall 
Russia, thus proving his unsuitability for the very im- 
portant post he was occupying. At this period he also pro- 
posed sending Burnes on a mission to the Russian camp. 
To this suggestion Burnes replied that he would willingly 
go if ordered, and not deeming this comment sufficiently 
enthusiastic, Macnaghten abandoned the plan. The com- 
plete failure of the Russian expedition transformed the 
situation and was a great relief to him. 

The Sikh Question. Another important question was 
the attitude of the Sikhs since the death of Ranjit Singh. 
They had, as we have seen, rendered no effectual help to 
Wade and Timur; they were not maintaining a contingent 
force in return for the subsidy granted by the Tripartite 
Treaty, and they were encouraging Ghilzai refugees to 
foment disturbances against Shah Shuja from the shekel 
of their frontier forts. Macnaghten realized very clearly 
that, without the right of way across the Punjab, which 
the Khalsa strongly objected to grant, the British position 
in Afghanistan would rapidly deteriorate. 

The Position at Herat. Yar Muhammad had quickly 
shown his true character to Major D'Arcy Todd. The 
treaty, by which Shah Kamran bound himself not to 
negotiate with other states without the consent of the 
British Resident, had only been signed a few weeks when 
proof was forthcoming that the treacherous Vizier was 


seeking the protection of the Persian Government and 
was proposing a treaty for the expulsion from Afghanistan 
of the infidel British! 

As was to be supposed, Yar Muhammad hated Todd, 
who was anxious to abolish the slave trade in Central Asia, 
just as he had hated Pottinger. To meet the situation, 
Macnaghten strongly recommended that a British force 
should be t despatched against Herat, which city, upon its 
capture, should be annexed to Shah Shuja's dominions. 
But Auckland decided to send money and still more 
money and Yar Muhammad continued to intrigue 
with the Persian Government. Our policy was founded 
on bayonets or gold. Finally, realizing the folly of his 
money-bag policy the advances to the people and 
Governor of Herat amounted to 200,000 Auckland 
was disposed to resort to bayonets, but the Commander- 
in-Chief pointed out that any advance upon Herat or 
Bukhara was out of the question. 

Before long, Yar Muhammad was proved guilty of 
inciting the Durranis of Zamindavar to rise. Moreover, 
in February 1841, he demanded still more money, and 
when Todd replied that he would require some guarantee 
that such concessions would not be thrown away, the 
Vizier demanded the money or the departure of the 
Mission. To quote Kaye: " Never before, perhaps, had 
the British Government been so insulted and so outraged 
in the person of its representatives. . . . There is little 
doubt that, if the Mission had remained longer at Herat, 
the members of it would have been subjected to indignities 
oT the worst kind." l 

Auckland, instead of showing sympathy for Todd, 
removed him from political employment. He further 
lowered British prestige by writing conciliatory letters to 
Yar Muhammad, expressing regret at occurrences which 
had interrupted mutual good relations, 

The Position of Shah Shuja. Shah Shuja was a monarch 
supported by foreign troops. Apart from the British 
garrisons, there was the Shah's army, to which were 
added local corps, all officered by the British and paid by 

1 Op. cit. vol. ii, p. 1 10. 


them. With these troops occupying forts in commanding 
positions, taxes were levied and the turbulent Afghans, 
to some extent, were controlled. It is to be noted, 
however, that Macnaghten retained in his own hands the 
right to send out expeditions against revolting tribes. He 
settled the strength of each force and gave detailed in- 
structions to their commanders as to the objectives and 
the method to be followed for their attainment. The 
British thus incurred unpopularity for these expeditions, 
many of which were necessitated by the tyranny and 
greed of the Shah and his favourites. They were un- 
desirable from the military point of view, while the 
system was not only bound to be unpopular to the 
independent, fanatical Afghans but also to the Amir, who 
resented his lack of power. We have seen how Ahmad 
Shah instituted a feudal system under which each tribe 
was liable to military service. The new system, however, 
was far beyond the capacity of poverty-stricken Afghani- 
stan to support and was thoroughly unsound. 

From his own point of view, Shah Shuja realized that 
he was only a King in name and proofs were not lacking 
that he and his Ministers were secretly fomenting dis- 
turbances in Zamindawar and elsewhere. Indeed, it was 
only reasonable to expect that, chafing under the system 
imposed upon him, he would constantly throw grit into 
the creaking machinery of dual government. Had he 
been allowed to rule his subjects by Afghan methods 
with the support of a subsidy, he might possibly have 
succeeded, although the fact that Dost Muhammad, who 
was virtually held a prisoner by the Amir of Bukhara, 
was still liable to reappear on the scene certainly con- 
stituted a serious element in a difficult problem. 

The Position in Afghanistan, 1 840. In the spring, the 
Ghilzais, who had given trouble in the previous autumn 
and had been punished by Captain Outram, again re- 
belled and cut the communications between Kandahar 
and Kabul. A composite force under Captain Anderson 
marched out and attacked a body some 2000 strong. 
With the valour for which the tribe is noted, the Ghilzais 
charged twice but were beaten off with heavy loss. After 

3-.': '. 1;, 




some negotiations, Macnaghten decided to pay the Chiefs 
the equivalent of 3000 per annum, in return for guaran- 
teeing the safety of the road. 

In the Kalat area the youthful son of Mehrab Khan, 
crying for vengeance, attacked Kalat, and Newaz Khan, 
to whom it had been given, abdicated in favour of the 
rightful heir. The political officer, Lieutenant Loveday, 
was madea prisoner and was subsequently murdered. 

The Adventures of Dost Muhammad. At this period the 
refugee Amir escaped from Bukhara. His horse fell, 
tired out, but, dyeing his beard with ink, he thereby 
baffled the vigilance of the Amir's officials and crossed the 
Oxus. There he was welcomed by the Vali of Khulm and 
was able to raise a strong force among the Uzbegs of the 
province, so that, early in September, he advanced on 
Bamian at the head of 6000 men. The British had 
evacuated both Bajgah and Saighan, but an Afghan regi- 
ment, which had garrisoned these posts, deserted with its 
arms and ammunition to their late ruler. 

The reappearance of Dost Muhammad on the scene 
had created a ferment not only in Kabul, but also in the 
Kuhistar^ to the north of the capital, and indeed all over 
the country. There was also proof that Nao Nehal Singh, 
the ruling Sikh Prince, was in communication with him, 
while Sikh emissaries were busy in Afghanistan with anti- 
British propaganda. 

The Defeat of Dost Muhammad, September 1840. 
Brigadier Dennie had been despatched to Bamian with 
reinforcements consisting of an Indian regiment, and had 
taken command of the troops. He met the enemy, who 
had occupied several forts north of the defile leading into 
the Bamian Valley. His artillery wrought havoc on the 
dense bodies of Uzbeg horsemen, who finally broke and 
were pursued for miles along the narrow defile. Dost 
Muhammad escaped by the speed of his horse. This 
opportune victory resulted in the Vali of Khulm tendering 
his submission and promising not to aid Dost Muhammad 
or his sons. In Northern Afghanistan the reaction was 
temporarily most favourable to the British. 

The Reappearance of Dost Muhammad in the Kuhistan. 


The dauntless ex- Amir had said : " I resemble a wooden 
spoon : you may throw me hither and thither, but I shall 
not be hurt ". He reappeared in the Kuhistan, where the 
lawless chiefs, who strongly objected to paying taxes, 
joined him. To meet this rebellion, Sale marched out 
and attempted to storm a strong fort, but failed. The 
rebels subsequently evacuated the position, but the failure 
of the storming party affected British prestige.* The in- 
cessant activities of Dost Muhammad caused alarm at 
Kabul, and Macnaghten, fearing a siege, called for re- 
inforcements from India. On November 2, at Pur- 
wandarra, Dost Muhammad engaged the Indian cavalry, 
which fled, while its British officers, charging the enemy 
unsupported, were killed or wounded. Among the killed 
was Dr. Lord. The Afghan horsemen then attacked the 
British infantry position, which remained firm, and the 
enemy were finally driven from the field. After this 
action Burnes, who was unduly depressed by it, advised 
Macnaghten that the force should fall back on Kabul, on 
which centre all British troops should be concentrated. 

The Surrender of Dost Muhammad. The virile 
Afghans hold high ideals as to valour, and the ^ex-Amir 
realized that, while he had scattered the Indian cavalry, 
he could not defeat the British. Considering then that 
he could surrender with honour, after his successful 
charge, he rode towards Kabul and, meeting Macnaghten, 
who was riding outside the city with George Lawrence, 
dramatically seized the envoy's hand, " which he put to 
his forehead and his lips as a sign of submission ". 
Lawrence adds to his account: " The appearance of the 
Dost was rather disappointing, quite different from what 
I had imagined. He was a robust, powerful man, with a 
sharp aquiline nose, highly arched eyebrows, and a grey 
beard and moustache, which evidently had not been 
trimmed for a long time." 

In accordance with the best British traditions, the 
gallant Afghan was treated with honour, not only by the 
envoy but also by British officers, who paid him marked 
attention. Macnaghten, indeed, in a letter claiming 
liberal treatment for our enemy, wrote: " Shah Shuja 


had no claim upon us. We had no hand in depriving him 
of his kingdom, whereas we ejected the Dost, who never 
offended us, in support of our policy, of which he was the 
victim." l For this generous candour we can forgive 
much to Macnaghten. 

On November 12, 1840, Dost Muhammad left 
Kabul under escort for India, where he was received with 
courtesy and generous hospitality. Granted an annual 
allowance of 2 lakhs of rupees, he settled down at Calcutta 
and watched events. 

The surrender and deportation of Dost Muhammad, 
which created a period of unprecedented tranquillity, 
would seem to have left no excuse for the British force 
remaining in Afghanistan. The only formidable rival of 
Shah Shuja had disappeared off the scene and the British 
army should have followed him to India, more especially 
as Shah Shuja considered that he could now maintain 
himself on the throne without our support. 

To quote Durand: " No more striking event could 
be conceived for an honourable termination to the armed 
occupation of Afghanistan, and for the triumphant return 
of the Anglo-Indian army to its own frontier. By furnish- 
ing so ifnhoped for an occasion, Providence removed all 
reasonable ground of excuse or hesitation, and afforded 
the Indian Government the very occasion which it pre- 
ferred to await." Incredible as it seems to the historian, 
Macnaghten decided that British troops must remain in 
Afghanistan. He thus became responsible for the tragedy 
which was so soon to follow his unwise decision. 

1 Sir W. Macnaghten to Mr. Robertson, Jan. 12, 1841. 



Their plain duty was to have attacked the rebels in the cu.y uic moment 
they realized what was going on, and those who refused or neglected to give 
orders to that effect, involved the many brave men who served under them, and 
who asked for nothing better than to die sword in hand, in undeserved blame. 

In the pages of a heathen writer, over such a story as this would be cast the 
shadow of a tremendous Nemesis. KAYE. 

The Position in the Kandahar Province. Upon hearing 
of the departure of the British Mission from Herat, 
Macnaghten wished to organize an expedition against 
that city. This proposal was not countenanced by Auck- 
land or the Commander-in-Chief in India, but the 
aggressive designs of Yar Muhammad on Girishk and 
the hostility of the Durranis, which he had excited, 
rendered military operations necessary. The p&sition at 
Kandahar was unsatisfactory. Prince Timur had been 
appointed Governor with some of the Ludhiana exiles as 
his staff. These individuals, as might have been expected, 
were mainly anxious to fill their empty pockets and 
alienated alike the haughty, but greedy, Durrani Chiefs 
and the common people. Fortunately Nott was well 
supported by Captain (later Sir Henry) Rawlinson, whfb 
was destined to become the leading authority on Central 
Asia, and their difficult task was dealt with firmly and 

The Expedition against the Ghilzais and the Durranis^ 
1841. In the spring of 1841, the first outbreak to be 
dealt with was that of the Western Ghilzais, who attacked 
a British column under Colonel Wymer near Kalat-i- 
Ghilzai. The tribesmen bravely charged again and 
again, but were defeated by the steady musketry fire of 
the Sepoys, supported by grape from the guns, and left 



many dead on the battlefield. 

The proceedings of Aktur Khan, a son of Dost 
Muhammad, who was preparing a force to attack 
Kandahar, had next to be dealt with. A British column 
was despatched in July and found the Durranis encamped 
on the right bank of the Helmand. The enemy crossed 
the river and attacked, but were defeated with heavy 
loss by the combined efforts of the artillery and infantry. 
Realizing that the situation was serious and having no 
confidence in his mounted troops, Captain Woodburn 
was content with his success against superior numbers 
and did not attempt a pursuit. Later, Captain Griffin, 
at the head of a powerful column, attacked the Durranis, 
who held a strong position in walled gardens and small 
forts. They opened a heavy fire on the advancing troops 
but were defeated and finally broken up by a cavalry 
charge. Nott was invariably successful in his operations 
and should have been appointed to succeed Cotton, as 
the Commander-in-Chief wished. 

The Views of the Secret Committee. It is of consider- 
able importance at this juncture to note that, at the end 
ot 1 840, the Secret Committee had written to Auckland 
that thuy could see nothing in the continued support of 
Shah Shuja, who, it was clear, had not secured the good- 
will of his subjects, to compensate for the alarming drain 
on the financial resources of India. To quote from this 
despatch: " We pronounce our decided opinion that 
for many years to come the restored monarchy will have 
need of a British force, in order to maintain peace in its 
own territory, and prevent aggression from without. 
We must add that to attempt to accomplish this by a 
small force, or by the mere influence of British Residents, 
will, in our opinion, be most unwise and frivolous, and 
that we should prefer the entire abandonment of the 
country and a frank confession of complete failure, to any 
such policy." 

The Rising of the Eastern Ghilzais. During the spring 
and summer of 1841, apart from the risings above men- 
tioned, Macnaghten was satisfied that all was well. 
Indeed, in a letter dated August 20, he wrote with un- 


justifiable complacency: " The country is perfectly quiet 
from Dan to Beersheba 'V 

Macnaghten had been appointed Governor of Bombay 
and was about to make over charge to Burnes in October, 
when news was received that the Eastern Ghilzai tribes 
had risen en masse and had severed communications with 
India via Jalalabad. Instead of evacuating the country, as 
the Secret Committee had recommended, Auckland, with 
supreme lack of insight, had decided on the fatal policy 
of half measures and stopped payment of allowances on 
which the vital communications of the Kabul force 
depended. Many other allowances were also discontinued 
which, naturally, created feelings of intense resentment 
among the Chiefs and even in the Shah himself. 

The March of Sale to Jalalabad. Sale's brigade, 
which was under orders to return to India, was instructed 
to reopen the route closed by the Ghilzais. 2 Starting on 

1 Letter to Mr. Robertson quoted by Kaye, op. cit. vol. ii, p. 130. 

2 In view of its importance, I am reproducing an interesting " Route from Cabool 
to Peshawer " from The March and Operations of the Army of the Indus in the Expedition 
to Afghanistan^ by Major Hough. In my chapter on " The Third Afghan War " I give 
a sketch map of the Khyber as it was then termed which might also be consulted 
in connexion with this and the following chapters : 


Stages M. F. Remark 

Boot Khak, 6,247 ^ eet 

8 7 

Cross the Laghar and Khoord Cabool rivers. 

Khoord Cabool, 


Through a pass 6 miles long. Cross the stream 

7,466 feet, 

23 times. 

Tezecn, the Pass, 8,173; 

12 7 

The road crosses over 7 Kotils (Passes). Camp 

Valley, 6,488 feet, 

in the valley. Water from the river. 

Ararent, or the 

8 6 

Road over a valley of stones. Water not good. 

Giants' tomb, 

Rood-i-Kutta Sung, 

4 6 

Ascents and descents, road over stones. Cros* 

the Bareek-ab 5,313 feet. 
Jugduluk, $375 feet, 7 4 A contracted Pass for 3^ miles, crossing the 

stream often. 
Soork-ab, 4,373 feet, 13 o Ascents and descents. Last part very difficult 

road. Camp near the heights. 

Sufed Sung (Gundumuk, 9 6 Ascents and descents. Enter valley of Gundu- 

4,616 ft.), muk (usual halting place.) Last 3 miles bad 

Futeha bad, 3,098 feet, n 7 Valley of Neemla to the right. Ascents and 

descents. Cross the river Neemla. Ascents 

and descents (defiles). 

Sultanpoor, 2,286 feet, 7 4 Road over a low flat and stony desert. 

JELLALABAD, 1,964 feet, 8 7 Road over a sandy tract. The Cabool river 

J mile to S. of the town. 

[Footnote continued on opposite page. 


October 20, he halted at Tezin for some days, where 
Captain MacGregor, the political officer, who considered 
that the rising was due to " the harsh and unjust " action 
of the British, agreed to the restoration of the coveted 
allowances to the tribesmen. Sale, influenced by Mac- 
Gregor, neglected to carry out the orders given him to 
seize the Tezin fort. He equally violated the vital 
principle that, in Asia, no concession should be made to 
an unbeaten enemy. 

Although accompanied by the Ghilzai Chiefs, the 
tribesmen, who were entirely out of control, attacked the 
column beyond Jagdalak. From the heights and all 
salient points a heavy fire was poured on the British. The 
light troops, however, gradually drove the tribesmen 
from their points of vantage and the advance guard 
found the main outlet clear. However, the Ghilzais, 
thirsting for loot, made a concentrated attack on the 
rear-guard, which suffered very heavy losses. 

Sale reached Gandamak on October 29, where he 
found a force known as Burne's jezailchis. He halted at 
this village until November n, and then marched 
through a hostile country to Jalalabad, which he occupied 
on November 13. 

The retreat from Gandamak to Jalalabad speedily 
caused the local situation to deteriorate. Burne, who had 

Alec Boghan, 6 6 First part sandy. Last 3 miles over stony road. 

1,91 1 feet, A jungle of rushes 3 miles from camp. 

Chard eh, (Bareek-ab, 14 i First part an ascent, thence enter a wide valley, 

1,822 feet), where the simoom prevails in the hot season. 

At 9 miles village of Bareek-ab. Cross the 
Rood-i-Butter Kot. 

Huzarnow, (Bassool, 1 1 6 There are 2 roads which join at Bassool. The 

1,509 feet), nearest in an E. direction, the other S.E. 

Dakka, (Lalpoora, 9 At 6 miles the small Khyber Pass, Dakka on right. 

1,404 feet), Lalpoora on the left bank of Cabool river. 

KHYBER PASS, Lundee 87 At i mile from Dakka, enter the Pass. 

Khana, 2,488 feet, 

Summit of Pass 3,373 feet, 

Ali Musjid, W. 13 6 In the Pass, 12 miles, we encamped ij beyond it. 

2,433 feet > 

Kuddum, out of the Pass, 10 i Road through and out of the Pass. 

(Jumrood, 1,670 feet), 

Koulsir, 7 o Pass on the left the fort of Futehgurh. The 

road sandy and stony. 

PESHAWAR, 1,068 feet, 8 5 

from Cabool, 193 4 


been instructed by Sale to hold the Gandamak fort, was 
almost immediately attacked by the Afridis under his 
command and, perforce leaving his baggage and two 
guns in the hands of the mutineers, he followed Sale 
to Jalalabad. 

The Refusal of Sale to return to Kabul. While halting 
at Gandamak, Sale had been ordered to march back to 
Kabul. Instead of acting on his instructions he called a 
Council of War, the members of which pronounced 
against compliance. As Durand points out, even had he 
halted at Gandamak, his brigade would have threatened 
the passes and would have " necessarily paralysed a 
portion of the Ghilzai strength . . . whilst at the same 
time ensuring to Elphinstone the comparative safe and 
easy withdrawal of the force from Kabul, . . . When the 
issue of the rebellion was as yet uncertain, and energy 
might have quelled it, he withdrew from the struggle and 
remained shut up within distant walls, there to court and 
abide investment, at the leisure of an unembarrassed and 
triumphant enemy/* There is little doubt that Durand 
was justified in his scathing remarks. His opinion is 
supported by Keene who wrote: " It is the opinion of the 
best military critics that if he [Sale] had returned to 
Kabul, or if he had only remained encamped at Gandamak, 
he might have averted the impending disaster ", x 

The British Cantonment at Kabul. Before describing 
the tragic events that were about to occur, some account 
must be given of the British cantonment. Measuring 
1000 by 600 yards, it was situated on a low-lying piece 
of ground near the Kuhistan road, surrounded and com- 
manded on every side by forts which were neither 
occupied nor demolished, and by hills; its weak breast- 
work could be ridden over. To add to its defects, the 
whole of the supplies were stored in a small fort situated 
at some distance from its perimeter, with an intervening 
fort and a walled garden, which were not under British 
control. Finally, it was separated from the Bala Hissar 
by the Kabul river. 

Who was to blame for this disgraceful state of affairs? 

1 History of India, by H. G. Kfcene, vol. ii, p. 1 54. 


Durand had urged the necessity for constructing barracks 
in the Bala Hissar and, to some extent, these were con- 
structed, and were occupied by British troops during the 
first winter. But Macnaghten had, later, with no proper 
regard for the safety of the British garrison, handed over 
the barracks to Shah Shuja for the accommodation of 
his harem. Sturt, who had succeeded Durand, and 
Roberts, Jfather of the great soldier bearing that name, 
had insisted on the supreme importance of occupying 
the Bala Hissar, but had been met with Macnaghten's 
definite refusal. 

General W. K. Elphinstone. Sir Willoughby Cotton, 
who was responsible for selecting the site of the canton- 
ment, left Kabul in the winter of 1840 and handed over 
charge at Jalalabad to General Elphinstone with the 
unfortunate observation: " You will have nothing to do 
here. All is peace." Indeed, so far did this belief prevail 
that Macnaghten permitted officers to arrange for their 
wives and families to proceed to Afghanistan. 

In April 1841 Elphinstone travelled with the Envoy 
to Kabul. He is described by George Lawrence, who was 
a member of the party, as being " altogether without 
Indian experience. He was evidently in very weak health, 
suffering acutely from chronic rheumatic gout, so much 
so that it was understood he had for a long time declined, 
on account of his infirmities, to accept the command in 
Afghanistan, and only consented when it was so urgently 
pressed upon him by the Governor-General, that as a 
soldier he could no longer refuse." x Actually Elphin- 
stone, whose health became worse, had decided to return 
to India with Macnaghten, and Nott had been appointed 
to succeed him temporarily, but, most unfortunately, was 
unable to take up the appointment. 

The Murder of Burnes. The weakening of the British 
force at Kabul, the successful rising of the Ghilzais and 
the spreading disaffection in the Kuhistan, led to a con- 
spiracy being formed by Abdulla Khan Achakzai, who 
hated Burnes and spread the rumour that several of the 
Chiefs would be arrested and sent to London a dire 

i Op. cit. pp. 55-56. 


threat! He also produced a forged order from Shuja to 
kill all infidels. Neither Burnes, who occupied a house 
in the city, nor Macnaghten was aware of the existence 
of any serious plot at this period. 

Suddenly, on November 2, the storm broke, and Sir 
Alexander Burnes, his brother Captain Burnes and Captain 
William Broadfoot were killed and cut to pieces, as were 
the men of his escort. 1 The mob then sacked the treasury, 
containing i 7,000, which, with the prevailing ineptitude, 
was kept in a neighbouring house. 

Shah Shuja, hearing of the disturbance, despatched 
a regiment of his Hindustani troops under Campbell (who 
had re-entered his service), but, entangled in the narrow 
streets, it was beaten back. Meanwhile Brigadier Shelton 
at the head of a British force of infantry, with guns, 
reached the Bala Hissar and covered Campbell's retreat. 
Apart from this he failed to take the decided action that 
the situation demanded. 

The news of the murders and of the rich loot that 
had been secured spread far and wide, and thousands 
of armed Afghans hastened in from every direction. 
A weak British force was sent out to attack Kabul, 
but fortunately failed to enter the city, where* it would 
have been cut up. Throughout indecision prevailed and 
recommendations by the envoy and competent officers 
were ignored. The curtain had fallen on the first act of 
the tragedy. 

The Capture of the Commissariat Stores. The envoy 
had moved from the Residency to the adjacent canton- 
ment, but no effort was made by the military authorities 
to secure the safety of the supply fort. As was only to 
be expected, the intervening fort and garden were occu- 
pied by Afghans. Since no determined action was taken 
to expel them nor to reinforce the detachment in the fort, 
its weak garrison, after a gallant defence, escaped by 
means of an underground passage and the supplies 
were lost to the British. Elsewhere a large quantity of 
flour was defended by another British officer and again 

1 For a vivid account of the tragedy vide Life of Dost Muhammed Khan, by Mohan 
Lai, vol. ii, ch. xviii. 


he was deserted by Elphinstone and was compelled to 
evacuate the fort. This completed the second act of the 

The Fatal Indecision of Elphinstone and Shelton. The 
position was now considered to be so serious that a retreat 
to India was seriously discussed by the military leaders. 
It seems incredible that Shelton, the only senior 
officer who was in a position to influence Elphinstone, 
should have been strongly in favour of this fatal step. 
Indeed Pottinger, in a letter written to MacGregor, 
wrote that " we were prevented from going into the 
Bala Hissar entirely by the obstinacy of Brigadier 
Shelton ".' 

The Disasters at Charikar and Shekabad. Among the 
outlying posts was one at Charikar garrisoned by a 
Gurkha regiment with Eldred Pottinger as political 
officer. The treacherous chiefs under the leadership of 
the Nijrao Chief, known as Mir Masjidi, at a meeting 
cut down Pottinger's assistant Rattray, and the Charikar 
post, which had no water-supply under its control, was 
invested. Finally, after desparate fighting, the post was 
evacuate^ by the garrison, which was overcome by lack of 
water, and only Pottinger and Haughton, both badly 
wounded, reached the cantonment on November 15, 
Another post near Ghazni was similarly attacked and 
the garrison massacred. These disasters increased the 
atmosphere of gloom which surrounded the General and 
his advisers, while they naturally encouraged the enemies 
of the British. 

The Despatch of a Brigade to Kabul by Nott. The 
Envoy and Elphinstone sent Nott orders, which reached 
him on November 14, to send a brigade to reinforce 
Kabul. Although this reduction of force weakened his 
position considerably, Nott, loyally, but against his 
better judgment, despatched Maclaren's brigade on 
November 19. However, owing to a heavy snowfall and 
the bitter weather in these elevated uplands Ghazni 
itself is situated at some 7000 feet above sea level 
Maclaren was obliged to return to Kandahar before 

1 Dated Budeabad, January 30, 1842. 


reaching Ghazni, and Macnaghten heard, on December 
10, that the hoped-for reinforcement would not reach 

Movements of the Kabul Force. Shelton, on Novem- 
ber 9, was instructed to leave the Bala Hissar and return 
to the cantonment, which order he carried out without 
encountering any opposition. Macnaghten had directed 
Sale to return to Kabul from Gandamak, but that officer, 
as we have seen, had marched on to Jalalabad. Mean- 
while the Afghans, noting the inactivity of the British, 
began to fire into the cantonment from surrounding 
positions. Shelton was ordered to capture a fort but the 
attack was countermanded. Finally it was made and the 
fort was taken, but not without heavy losses. 

Again, an Afghan force, which was shelling the 
cantonment from the Bemaru hills, was attacked. But 
Afghan cavalry charged through the British, who fell 
back on their reserve. Finally, the British again charged 
and captured the position. 

Macnaghten s Negotiations with the Chiefs. If the 
Envoy had been entirely misled as to the feelings of the 
Afghans and had preached peace where there was no 
peace, at this crisis he proved himself a man of mettle, 
Elphinstone and Shelton, as we have seen, were strongly 
in favour of making terms with the Afghans for the evacua- 
tion of the country, while Macnaghten, who was attempt- 
ing to buy off some of the leading Chiefs, advised the 
occupation of the Bala Hissar. Finally, the military 
authorities definitely decided against this obvious step 
and insisted on a retreat to India. The Envoy thereupon 
drew up a draft treaty by the terms of which, in return for 
supplies and safeguard, the British would evacuate the 
whole of Afghanistan. 1 

Akbar Khan had reached Kabul on November 22 
and his arrival had strengthened the body of Afghan 
conspirators. On December 1 1 Macnaghten met him 
and other Chiefs and made an agreement on these terms, 
binding the troops to quit the cantonments in three days' 

1 Appendix B. 



The Murder of Macnaghten. Macnaghten was delay- 
ing the execution of the treaty, hoping to save the situa- 
tion by creating dissension among the avaricious Chiefs. 
In pursuance of this scheme, on December 23, he, with 
members of his staff, 1 met Akbar Khan and other Chiefs, 
without adequate precautions for their safety being taken. 
Their capture had been decided upon by the Afghans, 
and Macnaghten, Mackenzie, 2 Trevor and Lawrence 
were all suddenly seized. The Envoy, while struggling, 
was shot by Akbar and was then cut to pieces by the 
fanatical Afghans. Lawrence and Mackenzie were each 
forced to mount behind a Chief and escaped with their 
lives, while Trevor, who was also mounted behind a 
Chief, was hacked to pieces when the horse he was riding 
stumbled. The curtain thus fell on the third act of the 

The Attitude of Akbar Khan. Akbar Khan was un- 
doubtedly the leader of the Afghan Chiefs at this period. 
It must be remembered that he considered that the Envoy 
had attempted to deceive him, an opinion which was also 
held by Pottinger, although not accepted by Lawrence, 
and he was intensely suspicious of the British. He also, 
as was but natural, feared that if the column reached 
Jalalabad intact, the combined forces would be strong 
enough to defeat his aims. He wished, on this account, 
to halt the column at Tezin until he had heard that 
Jalalabad was evacuated. He accordingly, more than 
once, delayed the march of the column and he entirely 
failed to supply food, forage or fuel. Indeed, it was 
probably out of his power to provide for such a multitude, 
and this he must have known. 

On the other hand Eyre, describing the disaster in 
the Khurd Kabul Pass, writes: " It ought, however, to 
be mentioned, that several of Akbar's chief adherents, 
who had preceded the advance, exerted themselves 
strenuously to keep down the fire; but nothing could 

1 From a letter written by Lady Sale to Lawrence, which I have read, it is clear that 
Elphinstone had ordered a strong escort and had later cancelled the order. 

2 In Kaye's op. cit. vol. ii, p. 422, Captain Mackenzie gives a detailed account of 
Macnaghten's attempt to enter into negotiations with Akbar, as distinct from the body 
of confederate chiefs. 


restrain the Ghilzais ".* Akbar also displayed other good 
qualities. He obviously liked the British officers, with 
whom he was brought into contact, admiring the courage 
with which, when sent to Jalalabad on missions, they 
loyally returned to captivity, sometimes with messages 
calculated to enrage him. He saved the lives of all 
the women and children and of British officers to a 
number exceeding forty. He presumably considered 
them to be valuable hostages but, even so, he was hospit- 
able when in a position to be so, and never allowed his 
prisoners to be ill-treated. Again, when defeated and 
wounded at the sally of the Jalalabad garrison, he did not, 
as he was urged to do by the more fanatical chiefs, even 
contemplate the massacre of his hostages and prisoners. 
He used the pertinent argument that, if the hostages were 
killed, vengeance would be taken by the British Govern- 
ment on Dost Muhammad and his family. 2 Finally, it 
should be remembered that killing men in Afghanistan 
at that period was not considered a serious matter. Even, 
in 1899, when I founded the Seistan Consulate, recent 
killings among the rulers were excused with the remark: 
" Oh! killing a man in Seistan has no more importance 
than drinking a glass of water! " 

Further Demands by the Chiefs. On December 24 
the Chiefs sent in further demands, which included the 
surrender of all married officers (including Sale) and 
their wives, who should be held as hostages until the 
arrival of Dost Muhammad and other Afghan prisoners, 
that all guns except six should be handed over and all the 
money in the treasury. On December 26, encouraging 
letters from MacGregor at Jalalabad and news from 
Peshawar that reinforcements were on the way were 
received. Pottinger, who acted as political officer, warned 
Shelton and other officers that the Afghans were 
treacherous and that a great effort should be made to 
occupy the Bala Hissar or else to fight their way to 
Jalalabad, but Shelton declared that neither course was 

1 The Kabul Insurrection of I #4142, by Major-Gcneral Sir Vincent Eyre, 1879. 
a For the behaviour of Akbar Khan 'vide also Captain Johnson's Journal quoted in 
Appendix in vol. ii of Kaye. 


practicable. On January i, 1842, the humiliating treaty 
was sent in, sealed by eighteen Afghan Chiefs. 1 

The Retreat. On January 6, 1842, after two months 
of humiliating indecision unexampled in British military 
history, the force, consisting of 4500 fighting men with 
12,000 followers, marched off from Kabul (which is 
situated at an elevation of nearly 6000 feet) for Jalalabad, 
distant 130 miles. The men were dispirited and were 
becoming demoralized; rations, transport and forage 
were lacking, while there was snow on the ground. The 
followers were panic-stricken. During the first march 
only five miles were covered and the rear-guard, which 
had been attacked, did not reach the camping ground 
until 2 A.M. 

On the second day another short march was made. 
Shelton urged that the dangerous Khurd Kabul Pass 
should be traversed immediately before the Ghilzais had 
assembled in full force, but Elphinstone, in view of 
promises of supplies of food and firewood and the exhaus- 
tion of the force, decided to halt, intending to march 
through the pass at night. This plan he was, later, 
persuaded to abandon. 

For the tragedy that followed I quote Vincent Eyre's 
vivid account: " The rapid effects of two nights' 
exposure to the frost in disorganizing the force can hardly 
be conceived. It had so nipped the hands and feet of 
even the strongest men, as to completely prostrate their 
powers and incapacitate them for service. ... In fact only 
a few hundred serviceable fighting-men remained." 2 

. To continue his account: " This truly formidable 
defile is about five miles from end to end, and is shut in 
on either hand by a line of lofty hills, between whose 
precipitous sides the sun at this season could dart but a 
momentary ray. Down the centre dashed a mountain 
torrent . . . with thick layers of ice on its edges over 
which the snow lay consolidated in slippery masses. . . . 
This stream we had to cross and recross about eight-and- 
twenty times. ... A hot fire was opened on the advance, 

* These treaties are given in full in Appendix B. 
2 Qp. cit. by Major-General Sir Vincent Eyre, pp. 265-266 and 268. 



with whom were several ladies . . . who galloped forward 
at the head of all running the gauntlet of the enemy's 
bullets. . . . Lady Sale received a slight wound in the 
arm. . . . Onward moved the crowd into the thickest of 
the fire, and fearful was the slaughter that prevailed. An 
universal panic speedily prevailed, and thousands, seeking 
refuge in flight, hurried forward to the front, abandoning 
baggage, arms, ammunition, women and children, regard- 
less for the moment of everything but their own lives. " 

Heroic acts were performed, but the disaster cost the 
lives of three thousand men. The survivors, who had 
ascended to a still colder climate, died in hundreds during 
the night, while, to intensify their misery, snow fell for 
several hours. 

To push on was the only hope left, but gullible 
Elphinstone gave the order to halt in view of a message 
from Akbar Khan that he would provide supplies and 
escort. During this halt, at the suggestion of Akbar, the 
women and children, together with the wounded officers, 
were handed over to his charge. The state of the women, 
some of whom were pregnant, was deplorable, and the 
offer was accepted, although doubts were expressed as to 
the wisdom of the action. 1 

On the morning of January 10 this foolish halt had 
further incapacitated the force, the European troops alone 
remaining efficient. The advance was held up, to quote 
Eyre once again, " in a narrow gorge between the 
precipitous spurs of two hills. . . . The Afghans securely 
perched on their point of vantage, commenced the attack, 
pouring a destructive fire upon the crowded column, as 
it slowly drew nigh to the fatal spot. . . . The last small 
remnant of the Native Infantry regiments were here 
scattered and destroyed, and the public treasure, with all 
the remaining baggage, fell into the hands of the enemy/' 
The survivors who reached Khak-i-Jabar, five miles 
beyond the gorge and twenty-nine miles from Kabul, 
numbered some 200 Europeans; there was also a con- 
siderable body of camp-followers. 

Akbar Khan again appeared on the scene and, through 

1 Among these wounded officers was Lieutenant Eyre. 


Captain Skinner, who had arranged for the women to be 
handed over to the Sirdar, he expressed his regret at the 
attacks made on the column, due, he stated, to his inability 
to restrain the Ghilzais. He then offered to save the 
Europeans on condition that they abandoned the natives. 
To his credit Elphinstone refused and in the passage down 
the defile to the Tezin Valley further losses were sustained, 
but the British remnant fought on heroically. 

From Tezin to Jagdalak was a distance of twenty-two 
miles and by a night march it was hoped to reach that last 
obstacle before it was occupied by the tribesmen. But 
ill-fortune dogged the footsteps of the force. At Seh 
Baba only seven miles distant attacks began, the 
mob of panic-stricken camp-followers almost paralysing 
the efforts of the few remaining soldiers. At Kattar-Sang 
twelve miles from Tezin constant attacks were 
made, but Shelton, with his handful of brave men of the 
44th regiment, protected the rear. At 3 P.M. Jagdalak 
was reached where a position was taken up in some ruins. 
Here, apparently hoping to make terms for the survivors, 
Elphinstone, Shelton and Johnson visited Akbar and 
were detained as hostages for the evacuation of Jalalabad. 

On January 1 2 the brave remnant marched on to the 
Jagdalak Pass, which rises to an elevation of 6420 feet. 
To quote once again from Vincent Eyre: " This formid- 
able defile is about two miles long, exceedingly narrow, 
and closed in by precipitous heights. The road has a 
considerable slope upwards and, on nearing the summit, 
further progress was found to be obstructed by two 
strong barriers formed of branches of the prickly holly- 
oak stretching completely across the defile/' Here again 
the losses were very heavy but there still remained a 
handful, which included twenty officers and forty-five 
British soldiers, struggling on towards Gandamak. 

To save themselves from an attack in the open, this 
small body quitted the road and took up a position on a 
height to the left, where they determined to sell their 
lives dearly. At this last stand, they could only raise 
twenty muskets with two rounds of ammunition per 
musket. Some Afghan horsemen coming from the direc- 


tion of Gandamak were beckoned to and, at the invitation 
of their chiefs, Major Charles Griffiths, who had dis- 
tinguished himself throughout the retreat, descended the 
hill to parley. It was agreed that the party should receive 
terms, but, before this information reached the men on 
the hill, an Afghan attempted to snatch a musket from a 
soldier, who shot him. The Afghans thereupon killed 
the British, who fought to the death. 

During the Second Afghan War, Major Waller, 1 a 
grandson of Griffiths, collecting the bones and relics, 
built a cairn over them, on what is known as " Forty- 
fourth Hill ". 

Another small party had pushed on ahead, six of 
whom arrived at Fatehabad, sixteen miles from Jalalabad, 
but Dr. Brydon alone of this pitiful remnant struggled 
into Jalalabad to announce the disaster. 2 Thus fell the 
curtain on the fourth act of the tragedy. 

Summary. Looking back on the First Afghan War, 
a century later, it would appear that too serious a view of 
the disastrous retreat from Kabul was taken, not only in 
India but also in Great Britain. It was a disaster that 
was discreditable not only to Auckland and to the military 
and political authorities at Kabul, but in a lessftr degree 
to Sale, who, in the first place, failed to capture Tezin and 
who, in the second place, quitting Gandamak with his 
powerful force, made no attempt to attack the hostile 
tribesmen, while the Kabul column was being over- 
whelmed in the neighbouring pass. 

It is, however, reasonable to hold the opinion that, 
had the column marched off in November, it would have 
fought its way through the passes, perhaps with heavy 
casualties and with the loss of part of its baggage, but 
without complete disaster. It was the paralysing results 
of the intense cold in mid-winter which clearly destroyed 
the fighting value of the troops. It is also fair to quote 
Rawlinson, who writes: " If we except, indeed, the fatal 
winter of 1841-42, when by the strangest concatenation 

1 He was a brother of Frances Tezeena Waller, whose birth is recorded in the next 

2 Two other Europeans and a number of natives straggled in during the month. 


of accidents, our forces at Kabul had become completely 
demoralized, there never was an occasion on which the 
Afghans could stand for an hour against British soldiers 
or Indian Sepoys f V Yet again, Afghanistan was not 
evacuated. Resolute Nott firmly maintained his position 
in the Kandahar area by hard fighting, while Sale at 
Jalalabad, as we shall see, entirely defeated Akbar Khan's 
utmost efforts. 

1 England and Russia in the East, pp. 184-185. 



Follow after we are waiting, by the trails that we lost, 
For the sounds of many footsteps, for the tread of a host. 
Follow after follow after for the harvest is sown: 
By the bones about the wayside, ye shall come to your own. 


Lord Auckland's Indecision. The news of the disaster, 
which proved to Auckland that he had been entirely 
misled, was a terrible blow and, at first, he gave way to 
despair, 1 as is shown by his message to the Commander- 
in-Chief, Sir Jasper Nicolls: " I am coming fast to the 
opinion that our furthest point of support in advance 
must be Ferozepore, and that we must bear the disgrace 
and disadvantage of retiring to this frontier with as little 
of loss as may now be assured ". 2 His state of mind was 
such that he merely wished to despatch an insufficient 
force in the shape of a single brigade, with orders to march 
to Jalalabad, entirely ignoring the necessity for the vindica- 
tion of our military power in Afghanistan. However, 
independent action was taken by the Agent at Peshawar 
and by George Clerk, the Lieutenant-Governor of the 
North- West Provinces, and, on January 4, 1842, a 
second brigade crossed the Sutlej on its march to Pesha- 
war. Nicolls, it should be stated, was opposed to these 
forward movements, an opposition which certainly did 
not redound to his credit. 

The Failure of Brigadier Wild. During this period 
Wild had reached Peshawar with four Indian regiments, 
but was totally unprovided with artillery. General Avita- 

1 In addition to previous authorities, I have consulted the Cambridge History of India 
vol. v, ch. xxviii. 

2 Kaye gives a clear account of Auckland's unheroic attitude and in his appendix 
quotes from his various letters. Op. cit. vol. Hi, pp. 405-406. Fide also Durand's 
scathing criticism, op. cit. ch. xxviii. 



bile, the Italian Governor of the Peshawar district, pro- 
vided four rickety guns, manned by Sikh artillerymen, 
and promised that his Sikhs, who regarded the warlike 
guardians of the rugged Khaibar with deep apprehension, 
would proceed as far as Ak Masjid. 

On January 15 half the brigade marched on Ak 
Masjid without encountering opposition, but, by a most 
unfortunate error, their supply column never arrived. 
Wild attempted to follow on January 20, but the Sikhs 
mutinied and he was defeated and wounded. As a result, 
Ak Masjid was perforce evacuated and the brigade fell 
back on Jamrud. 

The Arrival of General George Pollock at Peshawar. 
General Pollock, who had been commissioned to relieve 
Jalalabad, reached Peshawar in February. There he 
found a disheartened force prostrate with malaria and 
realized that until the arrival of the British troops, for 
which he pressed, it was out of the question to advance, 
in spite of the appeals he received from Sale. He con- 
sequently remained at Peshawar, raising the moral of the 
Indian troops by constant visits to their hospital, and 
making carefully thought-out plans for his advance. 

Lord* Ellenborough appointed Governor -General. In 
October 1841, upon the fall of the Whig Ministry and 
the assumption by Sir Robert Peel of the premiership, 
Lord Ellenborough, who had served as President of the 
Board of Control for several years, was appointed to 
supersede Auckland. He reached Calcutta on February 
28, 1842, and in his despatch to Nicolls, of March 15, 
ISid down that: " Faced by the universal hostility of the 
Afghan people, which had assumed a religious as well 
as a national character, it was clear that to recover 
Afghanistan, if it were possible, would constitute a source 
of weakness rather than of strength in case of an invasion 
from the west, and that the ground upon which the 
present policy rested had ceased to exist ". He further 
observed that " whatever course was to be taken, rested 
entirely on military considerations. In the first instance 
regard to the safety of the various garrisons . . . and 
finally, to the re-establishment of our military reputation 


by the infliction of some signal and decisive blow upon 
the Afghans, which may make it appear to them, to our 
own subjects and to our allies, that we have the power 
of inflicting punishment upon those who commit atrocities 
and violate their faith, and that we withdraw ultimately 
from Afghanistan, not from any deficiency of means to 
maintain our position but because we are satisfied that 
the King we have set up has not, as we were erroneously 
led to imagine, the support of the nation over which he 
has been placed. " 

The Siege of Jalalabad. When Brydon announced 
the disaster in person on January 13, George Broadfoot, 1 
the engineer officer, pointed out to Sale that, unless he 
was prepared to hold Jalalabad to the last, he should 
evacuate the city immediately and fight his way through 
the Khaibar to Peshawar. 

Sale decided to remain at Jalalabad and Broadfoot 
set to work to restore the ruined defences, while foraging 
parties were sent out to secure supplies of wood and 
grass. Caravans from Peshawar had opportunely brought 
three months' supply of wheat. To lessen the hostile 
population, all the Afghans in the city, including 200 
men of a Jezailchi regiment, were expelled. * 

Early in January a letter from Akbar to a neighbour- 
ing Chief, which called upon the Faithful, in the name of 
the Prophet, to fight the infidels, was intercepted. In 
this despatch Akbar boasted of having killed Macnaghten 
with his own hands. 

The failure of Wild's brigade to penetrate the 
Khaibar on January 20 appalled Sale. With the assisf- 
ance of MacGregor, he drew up a scheme for the evacua- 
tion of Jalalabad, and on January 26 summoned a Council 
of War to approve of his proposals. This document 
purported to be a reply to Shuja, who had written to 
MacGregor: " Your people have concluded a treaty 
with us. You are still at Jalalabad. What are your 
intentions? Tell us quickly." Shuja had also stated 
that if supplied with money he could hold the country 
for the British Government. 

1 Vide The Career of Major George Broadfoot^ by Major W. Broadfoot, 1888. 


MacGregor declared that in his opinion and also in 
that of Sale the British Government could not relieve 
the Jalalabad garrison. He went on to say that Shuja 
desired their departure from Afghanistan and that it was 
their duty to treat with him for the evacuation of the 
country. The terms proposed were that the British were 
to give four hostages in proof of their sincerity; and that 
Shuja should send a force to escort them to Peshawar with 
their arms, guns, etc., intact. Other provisions included 
the supply of transport and foodstuffs, the withdrawal 
of Akbar from the scene, and finally, that Afghan hostages 
should be handed over to the British. 

So far from this precious document being nominally 
a reply to Shuja, it was virtually an attempt to treat with 
Akbar, and Broadfoot, on reading it, flung it from him in 
disgust. A scene of intense excitement followed. The 
majority were in favour of the proposal and Broadfoot 
could only secure an adjournment of the Council. On the 
following day the subject was again hotly debated and 
the terms of the proposed capitulation were carried 
with the exception that it was decided that no hostages 
should be given. 

The clocument was despatched to the Shah and, in 
due course, the answer came that to prove their sincerity 
the senior officers should seal it. Broadfoot now claimed 
that the doubt that had been expressed of their sincerity 
liberated them from their obligations and proposed that 
the whole question should be reconsidered. Finally, it 
was decided to end the negotiations and to hold Jalalabad. 
'* And thus ", to quote Durand, " the firmness of one 
man, and he nearly the junior in the Council of War, 
preserved his country's arms from suffering another deep 
and disgraceful blow." 

On February 19 an earthquake destroyed the newly 
erected fortifications of Jalalabad, and the risk of an 
attack by Akbar, who had collected a considerable force 
and was investing the city, was considerable. Afghans, 
however, dislike attacking forts they possessed but 
little artillery and through the energy of the garrison, 
which was cheered by the publication of the Government 


manifesto of January 31,' the defences were speedily 

On April 6, urged on by Captain Henry Havelock, 
Sale somewhat unwillingly attacked the Afghans at 
daybreak. The artillery directed a heavy fire on their 
centre, while the infantry broke through it. The Afghans 
fired from a battery screened by a garden wall, but the 
British would not be denied; the guns which had been 
lost by the Kabul force were recaptured; the camp was 
burned; and the defeat of Akbar, who was wounded, 
was complete. 

The Position at Kandahar. To turn to the position 
in the south, Nott held his own during the winter. Money 
was very scarce and reinforcements with fresh supplies 
under General England were eagerly awaited. On 
February 21 a letter from Elphinstone and Pottinger, 
which had been written some two months previously, 
was received, ordering the evacuation of Kandahar and 
Kalat-i-Ghilzai. Nott and Rawlinson did not consider 
this letter in any way binding, but the astute Durrani 
Chiefs, fully aware of the situation, demanded the evacua- 
tion of the British force, on the ground that Shah Shuja 
no longer required their services. Failing thfeir with- 
drawal, they threatened the British with the fate of the 
Kabul column. To add to the difficulties of the situation 
at this juncture, Prince Timur received a letter from Shuja 
which ran: " You must understand that the disturbances 
which you have, no doubt, heard of at Kabul, have been 
a contest between the followers of Islam and the un- 
believers. Now that the affair is decided, all the Afgharts 
have tendered their allegiance to me and recognized me 
as King. . . ." Rawlinson pronounced this letter to be 

Nott replied to the Chiefs that there was every reason 
to believe that Shuja's letter was written under com- 
pulsion, that he was awaiting instructions from his 
Government and that a British army was on its way to 
avenge the murder of the envoy. All doubts as to British 
policy were temporarily set at rest by the receipt of a 

Vide Kayc, op. cit. vol. iii, pp. ^J and 407. 


copy of an official letter, dated January 28, in which the 
continued occupation of Kandahar was enjoined. On 
March 3 Rawlinson took the step of expelling the Afghan 
inhabitants, to the number of 5000, from the city. 

The Durranis nearly capture Kandahar. On March 7 
Nott attacked the Durranis, who retreated and then 
doubled back on Kandahar. They attacked with fanatical 
fury and, when the Herat Gate was burned, their success 
seemed probable. However, a solid rampart of sacks of 
grain was formed and held, in spite of repeated charges 
by GhaztSy careless of life. Finally, the attack was 
repelled with the loss of some 600 Ghazis. Nott, later 
in the month, again attacked and defeated the Durranis. 

The Fall of Ghazni. The Durrani Chiefs, who were 
much dejected by these defeats, recovered their courage 
upon hearing of the capture of Ghazni. The townspeople 
had admitted the attacking force and the garrison, 400 
strong, was shut up in the citadel. With half rations 
and with practically no forage or water, Colonel Palmer 
made a treaty with the enemy by which the British were 
to be conducted in safety to Peshawar. Treachery was, 
however, intended, as indeed might have been expected, 
and the force was surrounded and, after surrender, was 
massacred. The fall of Ghazni on March 6 was con- 
sidered to constitute a discreditable disaster, as, had 
Palmer expelled the population, he would have secured 
supplies and, in any case, he should have maintained 
control of the water-supply. 

The Movements of General England. Fortunately 
Kalat-i-Ghilzai defeated all attacks, and the advance of 
England in March with his convoy of treasure, ammuni- 
tion and medicines was reported. Nott was pressed by 
Rawlinson to despatch a force to co-operate with him at 
the Khojak Pass but refused to do so. England with his 
advance body was met with a heavy fire from the defenders 
of a position at Hykulzai near the entrance to the Khojak 
Pass, and was repulsed. His officers begged him to 
renew the attack but, grossly overestimating the enemy 
force, he retreated to Quetta. 

A month later England again attacked the position 


at Hykulzai, this time with complete success. Entering 
the Khojak Pass, its heights were crowned by the 
Kandahar troops and the united brigades on May 10 
entered Kandahar. There news of the relief of Jalalabad 
by General Pollock was celebrated by firing a royal 

Ellenborough's statesmanlike declaration of March 
15, sad to say, was followed by a complete volte-face, 
owing to the check received by England and, on April 1 9, 
Nott was instructed to withdraw the garrison of Kalat-i- 
Ghilzai and to evacuate Kandahar. He was then to take 
up a position at Quetta " until the season may enable you 
to retire upon Sukkur ". Much against his own judg- 
ment, Nott decided to carry out the first part of his 
instructions, but he was unable to march back to India 
without collecting a considerable amount of fresh trans- 
port a matter of months for so large a force. 

The Defence of Kalat-i-Ghilzai. On May 19 a 
brigade was despatched to evacuate the garrison of Kalat- 
i-Ghilzai. Information as to this movement, which 
naturally encouraged them, had reached the Ghilzais, 
who determined to storm the fort before the arrival of 
the relieving column. At the false dawn, on*May 21, 
4000 men provided with scaling ladders made a desperate 
assault. Three times they reached the crest of the works 
only to be repulsed with very heavy losses by the defenders, 
not one of whom was killed. Upon the arrival of the 
relieving brigade the fort was destroyed and the garrison 
was withdrawn to Kandahar. 

The Battle outside Kandahar. On May 29 the Dift-- 
ranis under Aktur Khan, who attempted to deceive 
Rawlinson by constant overtures for peace, made a 
general attack on Kandahar, but were defeated with 
heavy loss. They had intended, as in the Second Afghan 
War, to hold the Baba Wali Pass which they had blocked, 
but the rapid action of the British upset their plans. 
Information as to the orders received by the British to 
evacuate Kandahar had reached them and was mainly 
responsible for these continued hostilities. 

The Last Days of Shah Shuja. Some days after the 


murder of Burnes, the rebel leaders invited Shuja to con- 
tinue to rule, stipulating, however, that he should give 
his daughters in marriage to the leaders. This condition 
Shuja at first agreed to, but later refused to carry out. 

The influence of Akbar Khan was enormously in- 
creased by the destruction of the British force, albeit the 
older Chiefs were jealous of him. Although Shuja wrote 
to Sale demanding the evacuation of Jalalabad, his posi- 
tion was really a very weak one. Accordingly he osten- 
sibly accepted the proposal of Nawab Zaman Khan 
Muhammadzai (who had been appointed King by the 
conspirators, after Shuja's refusal to give his daughters to 
the Chiefs) to become his Vizier. 

At this period Zaman Khan was guarding the British 
prisoners, whom he refused to hand over to the Shah. 
Meanwhile Akbar was pressing Shuja to prove his sin- 
cerity by joining him before Jalalabad with his troops and 
artillery, and this, after much hesitation, Shuja decided 
to do. On April 5 he left the Bala Hissar with a small 
escort in order to join his army, which was encamped 
close by. On the way he was murdered by Shuja-ud-Dola, 
son of Zaman Khan. 

Thus' J fell Shah Shuja. There is much divergence of 
opinion as to his fidelity to the British. There is no doubt 
that many of his courtiers were hostile to us, and perhaps 
it would be safe to say that he was an opportunist who 
trimmed his sails to suit the prevailing wind, but always 
realized that we had the power of the purse. 

Ferrier, who was in close touch with Afghans some 
years later, sums up as follows: " If he always failed, it 
was because he never would permit the smallest entrench- 
ment upon his absolute rights. . . . His conduct during 
his second reign is a proof of that independence of char- 
acter which was ever his misfortune : indignant under the 
yoke imposed upon him by the English, all the vices of 
his Afghan nature broke forth; he betrayed his bene- 
factors, resisted his liberators, and died by the hands of 
assassins for an Afghan he could have no more 
glorious close to such a career." l 

1 History of the Afghani , p. 363. 


The Difficulties of General Pollock. Among the chief 
difficulties of Pollock was the doubtful attitude of the 
Sikhs. They had, as we have seen, mutinied under Wild, 
but the arrival of large reinforcements of British troops 
with artillery, the tact of the general himself and the 
influence of Captain Mackeson had restored their moral, 
as had appeals to their honour to wipe out the disgrace 
which the Khalsa had suffered from the mutiny. The 
Afridis, in return for money payments, had agreed to hold 
the Khaibar, but upon the appearance of Akbar with 800 
men at Ak Masjid, they pleaded their inability to perform 
their agreement. 1 

The Forcing of the Khaibar Pass. Pollock was a great 
organizer and left nothing to chance. Before dawn on 
April 5, the army marched into the pass and the troops 
immediately scaled its precipitous heights. The Afridis, 
who were surprised by the movement, offered little 
opposition at first and, thanks to skilled leadership and 
their own gallantry, the British were able to drive the 
enemy before them. 

When this difficult feat had been achieved, the centre 
column advanced to the barrier that had been erected in 
the pass, which was destroyed, its defenders being 
scattered by shrapnel, and the huge convoy, 2 which in- 
cluded supplies and munitions for Jalalabad, marched 
safely up the pass. Suffering alike from heat and from 
thirst, the slow-moving column finally reached Ak 
Masjid, distant some seven miles from the mouth of the 
pass; the fort had been evacuated by Akbar early in the 
day. * 

Pollock had forced the Khaibar. Avitabile, it is to be 
noted, considered that he was going to certain destruction, 
and this opinion was perhaps held by the Sikhs, who had 
followed another and more circuitous route. They were 
attacked by the tribesmen and suffered some casualties, 
but undoubtedly lessened the resistance offered to the 
British column which they finally rejoined at Ak Masjid. 

1 In addition to previous authorities, I have consulted The Life of Sir George Pollock^ 
by C. R. Low. 

2 Pollock had insisted on all ranks discarding heavy baggage, and only had one small 
tent for himself and a staff officer. 


Pollock wrote to a friend: " There were many deser- 
tions among the Indian troops before we advanced. Now 
they are in the highest spirits, and have a thorough con- 
tempt for the enemy. . . . The Sikhs are encamped near 
us and are much more respectful and civil since our opera- 
tions of yesterday." l The British casualties were slight, 
while those of the tribesmen were very heavy. 

The Relief of Jalalabad. Pollock's repulse of the 
Afridi tribesmen, coming after the signal defeat of Akbar, 
swept away all serious opposition. He halted on April 6 
and, by April 8, he had marched to Lundi Kotal, some 
ten miles farther on, and then proceeded to Dakka, 
twelve miles from the pass. On April 1 8 Jalalabad was 
reached, where the garrison warmly welcomed the re- 
lieving force. 2 

The Instructions of Ellenborough. In spite of the 
success of Sale and of Pollock, Ellenborough's mercurial 
spirit was daunted by the surrender of Palmer at Ghazni 
and the check suffered by England. He accordingly 
abandoned his declared policy and gave orders in direct 
opposition to it. He seems to have forgotten the prisoners 
whom he was in honour bound to release. He also now 
doubted :he expediency of undertaking operations merely 
for the re-establishment of our military reputation. 
Nicolls, who appears to little advantage, acting on the 
Governor - General's pusillanimous wishes, instructed 
Pollock, on April 29, to withdraw every British soldier 
to Peshawar. " The only circumstances ", he added, 
44 which can authorise delay in obeying this order are: 
i fit. That you have brought a negotiation for the release 
of the prisoners lately confined at Badiabad to such a 
point that you might risk its happy accomplishment by 
withdrawing. 2ndly. That you may have attached a 
lightly equipped force to rescue them. 3rdly. That the 
enemy at Kabul may be moving to attack you. In this 
improbable case, should any respectable number of 
troops have descended into the plain below Jagdalak 
with that intent, it would be most advisable to inflict 

1 Low, op. cit. p. 262. 
2 In Low's o/. at. pp. 270-277, a spirited account of the march is given. 


such a blow upon them as to make them long remember 
your parting effort." 

The Reply of General Pollock. On May 13 Pollock 
gave an admirable reply to these unworthy instructions. 
To quote from it: " With regard to our withdrawal at 
the present moment, I fear that it would have the very 
worst effect it would be construed into a defeat, and 
our character as a powerful nation would be entirely lost 
in this part of the world ". 

Later on he writes: " But the advance on Kabul 
would require that General Nott should act in concert 
and advance also. I therefore cannot help regretting that 
he should be directed to retire, which, without some 
demonstration of our power, he will find some difficulty 
in doing." x Pollock then declared that he could not 
retire to Peshawar without additional transport, and this 
delay, as we shall see, gave temperamental Ellen borough 
time to change his mind once again. 

It is of considerable importance to learn that Pollock, 
on receiving these instructions, wrote to Nott requesting 
him on no account to retire, as directed by his superiors, 
until he should hear from him again. He realized that 
he endangered his commission by this act, bftt he felt 
that co-operation, combined with delay, would result in 
success. 2 Stout-hearted Nott readily agreed to Pollock's 

The Mission of Captain Colin Mackenzie. On April 25 
Mackenzie reached the British camp with proposals from 
Akbar, who wished to arrange terms for himself and his 
party. Pollock replied, offering payment for the release 
of the prisoners, but would not entertain Akbar's 
extravagant proposals. 

Ellenborough* s fresh Orders to the Generals. Fortun- 
ately, as it would appear, the inglorious orders of Ellen- 
borough had leaked out and caused a storm of dis- 
approval both in India and at home. They also reacted 
unfavourably on the position in Afghanistan. The 
Governor-General, influenced by public opinion, there- 
upon issued fresh orders to both generals. 

1 This letter is given in full by Kaye, vol. iit, pp. 198-200. 2 Low, op. cit. p. 297. 


During the summer months Pollock was not inactive, 
In June he despatched a force to the Shinwari Valley, 
where a captured gun, treasure and plunder had been 
collected. By way of punishment for their guilt, of which 
ample proofs were forthcoming, the villages in the valley 
were burned and the crops were carried off. 

On July 4 Ellenborough wrote direct to the two 
generals, stating that his opinions had undergone no 
change since his declaration that the withdrawal of the 
British troops from Afghanistan was the main object of 
Government. But he laid down that if Nott wished to 
retire to India via Ghazni, Kabul and Jalalabad, he might 
be assisted in this retirement by Pollock's advance to 
Kabul. The letters are given by Low. 1 That to Nott 
included the following: " If you should be enabled by 
a coup de main to get possession of Ghazni and Kabul you 
will act as you see fit, and leave decisive proof of the 
power of the British army, without impeaching its 
humanity. You will bring away from the tomb of 
Mahmud of Ghazni his club which hangs over it, and you 
will bring away the gates of his tomb, which are the gates 
of Somnath. These will be the just trophies of your 

success.' * 

Kaye's opinion of this document runs: " It is either 
from first to last a masterpiece of Jesuitical cunning, or it 
indicates a feebleness of will an infirmity of purpose 
discreditable to the character of a statesman entrusted with 
the welfare and honour of one of the greatest empires in 
the world ". Studying the question a century later, I feel 
bbund to concur in this condemnation of Ellenborough. 
The Advance of Pollock to Gandamak. In the middle 
of August Pollock heard from Nott that he was preparing 
to march on Kabul. Consequently, on August 20, he 
sent his advanced guard to Gandamak and, three days 
later, it attacked two neighbouring villages, where a 
hostile force had collected. Not without some loss the 
villages were taken and the tribesmen dispersed. During 
the halt at Gandamak, on September i, the unfortunate 
Fath Jang, who had been elected puppet King of Kabul 

1 Op. cit. vol. iii, pp. 328-329. 


by the Sirdars, rode in to claim British protection, only 
too happy to have escaped with his life. 

On September 8 the British force in two columns 
(with General McCaskill l marching one day behind) 
entered the Jagdalak Pass, which was very strongly held 
by Ghilzai tribesmen. But the British, fired by the spirit 
of retribution, attacked with a determination that nothing 
could withstand. The victory was complete. The force 
then marched on to Tezin, where, owing to the fatigued 
condition of the transport, a day's halt was ordered. 

Meanwhile Akbar, who realized the seriousness of 
his position, attempted to delay the British advance by a 
letter which never reached Pollock. He had, at first, 
decided to hold the Khurd Kabul Pass, but, encouraged 
by Pollock's halt which he attributed to fear, he moved 
on to Tezin. 

The Battle of Tezin. On September 1 3 Akbar made 
his supreme effort. The valley was surrounded by high 
hills, each of which was held in force. The action opened 
by the Afghan cavalry being attacked and cut up by the 
3rd Dragoons. The British infantry then climbed the 
heights. Realizing that their muskets were outranged 
by the jezails, they everywhere charged with "bayonets 
fixed. Desperate were the efforts made by the Afghans 
to hold the Haft Kotal, but thoughts of the massacre, of 
which ghastly evidence was still visible on the march, 
made Pollock's force, British and Indians alike, careless 
of everything but vengeance. Finally the heights of the 
Haft Kotal were secured and the Afghans dispersed and 
fled to their homes, realizing that they were beaten dh 
their own mountains. On September 15 the victorious 
British reached Kabul without further opposition. 

Nott marches North. To return to the situation at 
Kandahar: during July Nott, who had received a large 
supply of camels from Quetta, was preparing to retire to 
India. Suddenly, on July 20, Ellenborough's letter of 
July 4, which permitted him on his own responsibility to 
" retreat " from Kandahar via Kabul, reached him. In 
reply to it he wrote to the Governor-General that he had 

1 His daughter married Sir Henry Durand. 


decided to retire a portion of the army 'via Ghazni and 

On August 9 Nott commenced his march on Kabul 
with a strong column which included two batteries of 
artillery, and the 4Oth and 4ist foot, with five Bengal 
battalions and some cavalry. England at the same time 
retired to India with the Bombay regiments and the Shah's 

The Battle of Ghoaine^ August 30. During the first 
marches the British were undisturbed, but information 
was received that Shams-ud-Din Khan, the Governor of 
Ghazni, with some 500 horsemen and 2 guns, was in the 
neighbourhood. On August 28 the force had started to 
advance from Mukur, when the rear-guard was attacked, 
but the irregular cavalry cut up and dispersed the 
assailants. Upon reaching the camping-ground a haze 
prevented effectual reconnoitring and, upon receipt of a 
false report that the grass-cutters had been attacked, some 
cavalry galloped out and dispersed a body of footmen. 
A force of Afghan horse appearing on a ridge was then 
charged, but our horsemen fell into an ambush and were 
received by a hot flanking fire causing' heavy losses. 
They were then, in turn, charged and defeated by the 
Afghan horse. Hearing of this repulse, Nott marched 
out to fight the enemy, reported to be 7000 strong, but 
only their vedettes were visible on the hill-tops. 

Shams-ud-Din Khan attacks the British. On the follow- 
ing day Shams-ud-Din had sent round the heads of the 
three British officers who had been killed, and declared 
tfiat one of them was Nott's. The Ghilzais, much en- 
couraged by these proofs of success, resolved to fight. 

Nott marched towards Ghoaine, while the Afghan 
leader kept parallel to his right and finally took up his 
position in the hills to the east of the camp. After rest- 
ing his force, Nott determined to capture an adjacent fort 
which was held by the enemy, but seeing the British 
artillery make little impression on it, Shams-ud-Din ad- 
vanced in full force, Nott thereupon drew off" from the 
attack on the fort and charged the Afghans, who fled. 
Their guns and camp were captured. 


Norfs Advance on Ghazni. On September 5 Nott's 
army was before Ghazni. Shams-ud-Din was holding 
the surrounding heights, which Nott proceeded to clear 
and then camped. The famous Ghazni gun, the Zubbur 
Jang, was, however, fired from the fortress and fourteen 
balls fell in the camp, which was accordingly moved out 
of range. Pollock ordered the construction of breaching 
batteries, but they were not required, since Shams-ud- 
Din fled to Kabul and the defenders of the fortress evacu- 
ated it by night. 

Nott enters Ghazni. In the morning the British flag 
was hoisted from the tower of the citadel; a royal salute 
was fired from the captured Afghan guns and the fortress 
was destroyed in retribution for the treacherous massacre 
of the British garrison. Finally, Pollock carried out 
Ellenborough's instructions by loading up the gates of 
the shrine of Mahmud of Ghazni and then continued his 

Nott reaches the Kabul Valley. On September 4, when 
camping some twenty-five miles south of Kabul, Nott 
received information of Pollock's victory at Tezin and of 
his intention to reach the capital on September 15. The 
Kandahar force was opposed by a strong body of Afghans 
who, under Shams-ud-Din and Sultan Jan, had thrown up 
earthworks in the Maidan Pass. The defence was stout 
and the heights were carried although not held. The 
action was indecisive, but that night news of the defeat 
of Akbar at Tezin reached the Afghans, who decided to 
retreat to a position at Urgundeh. In the morning the 
Maidan Pass was found to have been abandoned, but the 
tribesmen harassed the column with jezail fire. Nott, 
however, crushed all opposition and, destroying the 
villages as he advanced, camped some five miles from 
Kabul. He had been beaten in the race by Pollock, but 
his advance had attracted strong forces which otherwise 
would have joined Akbar's army. 

The Captives. Lady Sale 1 mentions that before 

1 Lady Sales Journal, p. 227. I have also consulted Forty-three Tears in India, by 
Sir George Lawrence, and have read letters of interest which were received from Lady 
Sale and General Pollock. These were lent me by Major-General Sir William Beynon, 
the grandson of Sir George Lawrence. 


starting on the tragic retreat, by chance she opened 
Campbell's Poems at " Hohenlinden ", " one verse of 
which ", she writes, " actually haunted me day and 


Few, few shall part where many meet, 

The snow shall be their winding sheet; 
And every turf beneath their feet 
Shall be a soldier's sepulchre. 

In the previous chapter the handing over of the 
women and children is mentioned. With the exception 
of Lady Macnaghten they had lost everything except the 
clothes they wore, and, for the last four days, had tasted 
nothing but some dry biscuits and some sherry or brandy. 
Lawrence, however, writes: " During the whole of these 
trying marches, I felt truly proud of my countrymen and 
women; all bore up so nobly and heroically against 
hunger, cold, fatigue, and other privations of no ordinary 
kind, as to call forth the admiration even of our Afghan 
guards ". 

The March to the Panjshir Valley. The captives re- 
mained for the night in the Khurd Kabul fort and on the 
following day proceeded to Tezin. Lady Sale, who had 
been twic^i wounded in the Khurd Kabul Pass, writes: 
" The road was covered with awfully mangled bodies, all 
naked: fifty-eight Europeans were counted . . . the 
natives innumerable. . . . The sight was dreadful; the 
smell of the blood sickening; and the corpses lay so 
thick. . . ." 

Lawrence, who had been claimed as a hostage, took 
charge of the party, and describes in similar terms the 
onward march through the Jagdalak Pass, beyond which 
the captives turned north across a steep range to the village 
of Tigri, situated in the Panjshir Valley. There, to a 
congregation numbering 100 British men, women and 
children, he read the appallingly appropriate psalm for 
the day: " O God, the heathen are come into thine in- 
heritance. . . . The dead bodies of Thy servants have 
they given to be meat unto the fowls of the air," 

Tigri, being an undefended village, was not con- 
sidered safe and, accordingly, the party moved on to the 


fortified village of Budiabad, where reasonably comfort- 
able quarters were provided. On February 1 1, the earth- 
quake that had levelled the walls of Jalalabad wrought 
havoc also at Budiabad, but fortunately no lives were lost. 

On April 1 1 , after a false start and a return, the 
captives finally left Budiabad, passing on the way Akbar 
Khan, who carried his wounded hand in a sling. " He 
spoke in a free and soldierly manner of Sale's victory and 
his own defeat, praising the gallant bearing of our men, 
with Sale conspicuous on his white charger at their head." 

On April 1 9 the party reached the Tezin fort, which 
had suffered badly from the earthquake, and here the 
fourth child was born since leaving Kabul. 1 The captives 
then moved to Goudah, some twelve miles from Tezin, 
and at this camp, on April 23, General Elphinstone died. 

Lady Sale's diary, under date of May 1 1, breathes her 
indomitable spirit: " The citizens [of Kabul] are ruined 
by the perfect stagnation of trade. . . . Now is the time 
to strike the blow, but I much dread dilly-dallying just 
because a handful of us are in Akbar's power. What are 
our lives when compared with the honour of our country? " 
From this camp, on May 23, the captives travelled to 
the Haft Kotul; "and here ", Lady Sale wfites, " we 
came upon a sad scene of decaying bodies ". They then 
halted once again at the Khurd Kabul fort. 

During this trying period, Pottinger who, as political 
officer, had to deal with Akbar, made the best of a very 
difficult situation and urged the Sirdar to give a proof of 
his sincerity by sending the women and children to 
Jalalabad. Akbar, had he been free to decide, might 
have agreed, but the other Chiefs would have opposed 
the step, considering the hostages to be a gold mine. 

Hearing that the Chiefs or the Jabbar Khel, among 
whom they were camped, intended to seize them, on 
May 22 a hurried march was made to a fort at Shewaki 
close to Kabul, the party covering forty miles of rough 
country in two days. Here they were in comparative 
luxury. Captain Connolly, who had joined the prisoners, 
received a letter from Pollock at Jalalabad dated July 4, in 

1 She was aptly named Frances Tezeena Waller. 



which the General stated that he had a force of 20,000 
men at Jalalabad and that Nott's division was 15,000 
strong. He added that 25,000 men were assembling at 
Ferozepore, and that 10,000 men were on their way from 
England, He concluded : " All will make an overwhelm- 
ing army and it will be a fearful day if such an army 
advance for the release of our prisoners and the delivery 
of our guns ". While the captives were at Shewaki, 
Colonel Palmer and his officers, nine in all, arrived in a 
pitiable condition from Ghazni and joined the rest of the 

On August 25 Akbar decided to despatch the party 
to Bamian under a strong escort, so determined was he to 
prevent their rescue by the advancing armies. Reports 
of Nott's march on Ghazni had alarmed him. Indeed, 
before the arrival of the prisoners at Bamian, the fall of 
that fortress was announced. The crossing of the high 
passes was very trying, especially for the sick, but finally 
the Bamian Valley was reached, when the prisoners, 
forgetting their troubles, visited and sketched the wonder- 
ful Buddhist remains. 

On September 11, Saleh Muhammad, the officer in 
command of the escort, received Akbar's orders, to move 
the prisoners to still more distant Khulm. At this juncture 
Saleh Muhammad's brother, accompanied by a Sayyid 
Murtaza, arrived from Kabul. From a friend of the 
British they bore proposals to which the wife of Saleh 
Muhammad had already been won over, that that officer 
should arrange for the liberation of the captives in 
feturn for handsome sums of money. He was informed 
that Akbar had fled, and that the Kizilbash had joined the 
British. Consequently he was ready to accept the very 
generous terms of 20,000 rupees in cash to be paid on 
arrival at Kabul, and an annuity of 12,000 rupees for 
life. Having decided to join the winning side, Saleh 
Muhammad hoisted the standard of defiance on the walls 
of the fort, and, before sunset, it was known that the 
British had engaged his services. 

Pottinger, to whom the greatest credit is due for 
these successful negotiations, in which he was ably 


seconded by Lawrence, immediately issued a pro- 
clamation to the neighbouring Hazaras to tender their 
allegiance, with the result that various Chiefs joined 
the British. The representative of Akbar fled and a 
known friend of the British took his place as Governor. 
Meanwhile money, which was very scarce, was obtained 
from a passing caravan. 

The Happy Ending to the Captivity. On September 1 6 
the party, fearing that they might be attacked at any 
moment, started on their march back to Kabul. To some 
extent the arrival of Sir Richmond Shakespear at the 
head of a force of Kizilbash cavalry, allayed their anxiety. 
But there were strong bodies of enemy in the Kuhistan, 
and Shakespear urged the captives to make long marches, 
until they were met by Sale, whose brigade was holding 
the pass. To quote his heroic wife for the last time: 
" When we arrived where the infantry were posted they 
cheered all the captives as they passed them, and the 
men of the I3th pressed forward to welcome us indi- 
vidually. . . . On our arrival at the camp at Siah Sang we 
were greeted with a salute of twenty-one guns." 

The Reoccupation of Kabul, and its Punishment. On 
September 16 Pollock marched in triumph *through 
Kabul to the Bala Hissar, where he hoisted the British 
flag. Path Jang was recognised as King, but it was 
clearly pointed out to him that he could expect no assist- 
ance from the British in men, money or arms. His posi- 
tion was, needless to say, an impossible one. 

Pollock had been instructed that a signal act of 
retribution should fall on guilty Kabul. He realized 
that if the Bala Hissar were destroyed, there would be 
even less chance than at present existed for the restoration 
of law and order in Afghanistan. He therefore decided 
to blow up the main bazaar in which the mutilated corpse 
of Macnaghten had been exhibited. But anxious to 
keep the retribution within reasonable bounds, he sent 
a strong detachment of British troops to protect the 
inhabitants from plunder and outrage. However, upon 
the sound of the explosions being heard, " the cry went 
forth ", to quote Rawlinson, " that Kabul was given up 


to plunder. Both camps rushed into the city, and the 
consequence has been the almost total destruction of the 

town/ 1 

These excesses are to be deplored, but when we con- 
sider that the soldiers and the camp-followers had been 
eye-witnesses of the massacres perpetrated alike on soldiers 
and non-combatants, the fact that the guilty city lay at 
their mercy and the rumour that it was to be plundered, 
feelings of vengeance, which cannot be severely blamed, 
would naturally be aroused. 

The Last Expedition. In order to discourage an 
attack on his troops in the Khurd Kabul Pass, Pollock, 
who had heard that Amanulla Khan had collected a 
strong force at Istalif in the Kuhistan district and that 
Akbar Khan, after sending his family across the Hindu 
Kush into Turkistan, was waiting on events in the same 
neighbourhood, decided to take action. By his orders 
McCaskill attacked this " maiden " fortress, with com- 
plete success. Nothing could check the gallantry of the 
troops, who stormed through village and vineyard with 
such a rush that the defenders of Istalif were seized with 
panic, and the hillside beyond was covered with men and 
white-veifed women fleeing from the town. McCaskill, 
with true British gallantry, allowed no pursuit, but two 
guns and much booty fell to the victors. 

On his return McCaskill destroyed Charikar, the 
scene of the annihilation of the Gurkha regiment. He 
then marched back in triumph to Kabul, having inflicted 
a heavy blow on Afghan pride and moral by the capture 
of Istalif, with such consummate ease. 

The Victorious Armies march back to India. British 
honour had been fully vindicated by the recovery of the 
hostages and captives, by victories that crushed all 
opposition in the field and by the punishment inflicted 
on the guilty cities. Its task was accomplished. On 
October 1 2 the army began its march homewards, taking 
with it the blind Zaman Shah, the youthful Path Jang 
and their families. It was also accompanied by the 
Indian survivors of the retreat who had, in some cases, 
been enslaved, and who were treated with every care and 


consideration. Halting at Jalalabad, Pollock destroyed 
its fortifications, as he also did at Ak Masjid. He then 
marched down the Khaibar to Peshawar, where the army 
was welcomed with princely hospitality by Avitabile. 
Finally it marched across the Punjab to Ferozepore. 

The Victory Celebrations. The victorious army was 
greeted by Ellenborough, and crossing the Sutlej by a 
temporary bridge, it marched between 250 caparisoned 
elephants, and was welcomed with booming of guns, 
military music and heartfelt rejoicings. Festivities 
followed, which culminated in a grand military display. 
Ellenborough dubbed Sale's brigade the " Illustrious 
Garrison ". He might with at least equal justice have 
termed Nott's command " The Ever-Victorious Army ". 

Lord Ellenborough } s Treatment of the Hostages and 
Prisoners. It is important, after dealing with the honours 
bestowed on the victors, to refer to the decisions of the 
Viceroy in the case of the hostages and prisoners. I will 
give as an example the treatment meted out to Pottinger, 
whose eminent services throughout the war were con- 
spicuous. In January 1843, Pottinger appeared before a 
court-martial at which the President declared: " I con- 
sider that Major Pottinger omitted nothing so*far as lay 
in his power, to maintain the honour of British arms and 
to secure the safety of the army, that he ultimately signed 
the treaty [with Akbar Khan] contrary to his own judg- 
ment, through the unavoidable necessity of acting as 
agent for the Council of War. The Court cannot con- 
clude its proceedings without expressing a strong convic- 
tion that, throughout the whole period of his painftil 
position, Major Pottinger's conduct was marked by a 
degree of energy and manly firmness that stamps his 
character as one worthy of admiration." 

In spite of this magnificent testimonial, Ellenborough 
not only refused Pottinger's request for an interview, 
while his written demand to receive his pay when serving 
as a hostage fared no better than those of Lawrence and 
other officers. 

Nor were these the limits of his injustice, since 
Ellenborough also refused to allow any medals won by 



officers for services rendered by them prior to the disaster 
to be given to them. Such behaviour dishonoured Ellen- 
borough and is fortunately rare among British officials 
holding high positions. 

Lord EllenborougJi s Proclamation of October r. The 
news of the complete success of the British arms induced 
Ellenborough to issue a grandiloquent proclamation which 
was dated October i, as was the unfortunate document of 
Lord Auckland, in 1838. It was of no particular im- 
portance, but I cannot refrain from reproducing an extract 
from his proclamation of November 10, which Wellington 
aptly termed a " Song of Triumph ". It runs : " Our vic- 
torious army bears the gates of the temple of Somnath 
in triumph from Afghanistan, and the despoiled tomb of 
Sultan Mahmud looks upon the ruins of Ghazni. The 
insult of eight hundred years is at last avenged. The 
gates of the temple of Somnath, so long the memorial of 
your humiliation, are become the proudest record of your 
national glory, the proof of your superiority in arms over 
the nations beyond the Indus. " No such proclamation 
has ever been issued by a British Governor-General. It 
was certainly an outrage to Moslems and little less to 
Hindus, *while on the high authority of Rawlinson, the 
gates brought back to India were not the gates of 

Summary. In the last three chapters I have dealt 
with a campaign which, costing the lives of tens of 
thousands of British and Indian soldiers and thousands of 
Afghans, had involved our armies in a crushing defeat. 
Apart from the expenditure of some 15 millions sterling, 
this massacre of a British force destroyed our reputation 
for invincibility in India and Central Asia and undoubtedly 
led to the Indian Mutiny, 

Auckland's invasion of Afghanistan was not only a 
terrible mistake but constituted an equally grave injustice 
to Amir Dost Muhammad and the people of Afghanistan, 
whose hatred was deep and enduring; Macnaghten, who 
aimed at a protectorate, failed completely to establish 
Shah Shuja on the throne; and Elphinstone and Shelton, 
through a complete lack of military qualities, involved 


the British Raj in the greatest disaster its arms had 
suffered in Asia. Yet in the final act of the drama, British 
columns, crowned with the laurels of victory, converged 
on Kabul and exacted due, but not vindictive, retribution. 
There is a Persian proverb which runs: " History is the 
mirror of the Past and the lesson of the Present ". The 
bitter lesson of Kabul should never be forgotten. 


Is Dost Muhammad dead that there is no justice? An Afghan proverb. 

The Return of Dost Muhammad to Afghanistan. One 
result of the victorious campaign which is described in the 
last chapter was the realization that the retention of Dost 
Muhammad as a state prisoner was no longer justified 
or expedient. Ellenborough accordingly issued a pro- 
clamation setting forth that " When the British army 
returning from Afghanistan shall have passed the Indus, 
all the Afghans now in the power of the British Govern- 
ment shall be permitted to return to their country ". 

In due course Dost Muhammad accepted the offer. 
He was escorted to Shikarpur and formally set at liberty. 
In the fifst instance, however, he proceeded to Lahore, 
where he was magnificently entertained by Shir Singh, 
who was now Maharaja of the Punjab. There he learned 
that, as soon as the British had crossed the Indus, 
Akbar had reappeared at Kabul and had dethroned 
Shapur Mirza, a younger son of Shah Shuja. He also 
learned that the party of Zaman Khan had attacked 
Akbar who had retired into the Bala Hissar where he 
was besieged. 

Dost Muhammad, realizing the situation, immedi- 
ately sent four of his sons, Muhammad Afzal, Muhammad 
Akram, Muhammad Azim and Gholam Haidar to Kabul 
where they were able to relieve their beleaguered brother. 
Dost Muhammad, following shortly afterwards, was 
welcomed by the people as Amir of Kabul. He had 
been in banishment three years. About the same 
time Kohandil Khan returned to Kandahar from Persia 
and, once again, became its independent ruler. 



The Ambitions of Muhammad Akbar Khan. Dost 
Muhammad had appointed Akbar to the post of Vizier, 
but soon realized that his influence as the leader against 
the detested English and his ambitions to re-establish 
the Afghan Empire in the plenitude of its ancient 
boundaries were likely to cause trouble. The Amir had 
learned much during his residence in India, but his 
wider views were unpopular among the fanatical and 
conservative Afghans, while the conquest of Sind by the 
British, in 1843, naturally accentuated the anti-British 
feeling, since it destroyed all hopes of reconquering this 
outlying province, which had formed part of the empire 
of Ahmad Shah, 

The Murder of Shah Kamran^ 1842. To return to 
the position at Herat : after the departure of Todd from 
that city in March 1841, Yar Muhammad, freed from all 
restraint, confiscated, tortured and enslaved at will. He 
also planned to seize and plunder his master. 

Shah Kamran, suspecting these designs, suddenly 
took possession of the citadel, hoping that the population 
would rise in his favour. In this he was disappointed 
and, after sustaining a siege of fifty days, he was forced 
to surrender. The infamous Vizier managed to secure 
the jewels which Shah Mahmud had taken from the 
crown to Kabul, and also Kamran's treasure to the esti- 
mated value of 240,000. But there remained a jewelled 
vest, valued at 160,000 which Shah Kamran had en- 
trusted to one of his wives, who, in turn, had made it 
over to a faithful servant to carry away to Khurasan. 
Yar Muhammad tortured the unfortunate woman, but 
without eliciting the secret. He subsequently distributed 
the younger women among his partisans and sold the 
elder ones, including four of Kamran's daughters, into 
slavery. Early in 1842, by his orders, Shah Kamran 
was suffocated in his prison. 

Akbar Khan, Kohandil Khan and Tar Muhammad 
Khan. In 1846 Akbar Khan prepared, against the 
wishes of the Amir, to invade Kandahar, on the pre- 
tence that Kohandil Khan was fomenting disturbances 
at Kabul. To strengthen his position, he married the 


daughter of Yar Muhammad and arranged for Yar 
Muhammad's son to marry one of his cousins. 

Kohandil Khan was exasperated by this new alliance, 
which placed him between two fires. He consequently 
raided the Herat province. However, Akbar Khan 
arrested this proceeding by rapidly advancing at the head 
of 800 cavalry. But, before this civil war had developed, 
he was suddenly recalled to Kabul by the Amir, whose 
orders he bitterly resented. 

The Intrigues of Kabul and Herat with Persia. 
Towards the end of 1846 Akbar and Yar Muhammad 
wrote a joint letter, carried by envoys, to Muhammad 
Shah, pointing out that the English were conquering the 
whole of the Indus Valley, and begging him to make an 
alliance with them against the common foe. The envoys 
were well received and the Shah sent jewelled swords and 
decorations to Dost Muhammad and to Akbar, 

The Death of Akbar Khan. The turbulent son of 
Dost Muhammad was still determined to attack Kohandil 
Khan, in alliance with Yar Muhammad. Dost 
Muhammad, who opposed this civil war, was threatened 
by Akbar and, quitting the Bala Hissar, took refuge with 
the KizilBash troops. Akbar demanded that his father 
should be handed over to him, and would probably have 
proceeded to take extreme action when he was suddenly 
poisoned by a Hindu doctor. His death permitted Dost 
Muhammad to regain full power at Kabul. 

The Campaigns of Tar Muhammad. Yar Muhammad, 
upon seizing the supreme power at Herat, extended his 
authority over the small Uzbeg Khanates in the north, 
Maimana, Sir-i-Pul, Shibarghan, Andkhui and Akchah. 
He also attacked the Hazaras and transplanted eight 
thousand families to the depopulated lower valley of the 
Hari Rud, He finally engaged in a campaign against the 
Uzbegs of Balkh, but was forced to retire upon news of 
risings at Farah and Bakwa, which were fomented by 
Kohandil Khan. 

The Ghilzai Revolts, 1847. Muhammad Akbar Khan 
had sworn an oath of brotherhood on the Koran with 
a Ghilzai Chief, Muhammad Shah Khan, who, upon his 


decease, claimed not only his property but also possession 
of his widows and the post of Vizier. Dost Muhammad 
finally quelled the rising which ensued and appointed his 
son Gholam Haidar to be his heir-apparent and Vizier. 
A second rising of the Ghilzais was also crushed, 

Dost Muhammad and the Sikhs, 1845-1849. In the 
winter of 1845 Akbar had despatched 500 horsemen to 
assist the Sikhs, but, on February 10, 1846, the British 
won the battle of Sobraon and entered Lahore as 
conquerors. 1 

The Sikhs for many years had offered to restore 
Peshawar to the Afghans if Dost Muhammad would aid 
them against the British. In 1848, when they embarked 
on the Second Sikh war, he was compelled to yield to 
the popular demand. He took possession of the plain 
of Peshawar and advanced to Attock, which was held by 
Colonel Herbert, who was ultimately obliged to surrender. 

The Amir, content with the recovery of Peshawar, 
showed no disposition to continue to support the Sikhs, 
but he was forced by his Chiefs to send a body of cavalry 
some five thousand strong, which took part in the battle 
of Gujarat fought on February 21, 1849. The Afghans 
made a charge and were met by British cavairy, which 
not only defeated them, but pursued them into the 
passes. Dost Muhammad himself barely escaped by the 
fleetness of his horse and returned to Kabul defeated and 
humiliated. All hopes of recovering Peshawar were lost 
for ever, since he realized that Gujarat was a final crushing 
defeat for the Sikhs, and that the British would occupy 
their kingdom. 

The Reconquest of Afghan Turkistan. During the 
years 1850-1855 Dost Muhammad gradually recon- 
quered Balkh, Khulm, Kunduz and Badakhshan, and 
appointed his eldest son, Sirdar Afzal, to govern these 
provinces, which became an integral portion of his 

The Death ofKohandil Khan y 1 855. One of the most 
serious difficulties of the Amir was the bitter hostility 
shown by Kohandil Khan against Yar Muhammad of 

1 Cunningham, in his op. cit. pp. 312-316, gives a homeric description of this battle. 


Herat. In August 1855 this firebrand died and the 
Amir, at the request of Rahmdil Khan, who had quarrelled 
with the deceased man's son, marched in person to 
Kandahar. In spite of much opposition by the people, 
who were stirred up by the mullas to engage in Jihad 
against the so-called ally of the British, he annexed Kanda- 
har to his kingdom. 

The Anglo-Persian Treaty of 1853. We must, once 
again, deal with the position at Herat. Yar Muhammad 
had died in 1851, and was succeeded by his half-witted 
son Said Muhammad who, with a view to strengthening 
his position, commenced negotiations with Persia. This 
action displeased the British Government who negotiated 
a treaty with Persia, by the terms of which that power 
" engaged not to send troops on any account to the 
territory of Herat, excepting when troops from without 
attacked the place ".* 

The Shah and his Vizier disliked this treaty which 
they had been obliged to sign. The latter vented his 
spite on the British Minister over a trifling matter and 
owing to this offensive attitude of the Vizier, the Minister 
broke off relations, and at the end of 1855 quitted 
Tehran. * 

The Anglo-Afghan Treaty of 1855. The threatening 
attitude of Persia towards Herat brought the Amir once 
again into friendly relations with Great Britain, and, in 
1854, he sent his son Gholam Haidar to negotiate a 
treaty with Sir John (later Lord) Lawrence, at Peshawar. 
By its articles, respect for the territories of the Amir and 
of the East Indian Company was reciprocally agreed 
upon; and the Amir engaged to be " the friends of its 
(the East India Company's) friends, and the enemies of its 
enemies ". By this engagement the twelve years of 
hostility and suspicion, which the First Afghan War had 
bequeathed as a legacy, were ended, 2 

The Occupation of Herat by Persia^ 1856. The 
Persian Vizier was at first apprehensive that the British 

1 Aitckison's Treaties^ No. XVII, p. 72. 

2 The treaty is given in full in Rawlinson'a England and Russia in the East, 
Appendix II. 



would resent his unwarrantable action, but not having 
received any communication from London for some 
months after the rupture of relations, he somewhat 
optimistically thought that no action would be taken. 
Consequently, in the spring of 1856, he ordered a 
Persian army to march on Herat, where it was welcomed 
by Muhammad Yusuf, a Sadozai Sirdar who had put 
Said Muhammad to death, to avenge the blood of 
Kamran, and had taken his place. Later there was a 
rising against the Persians, whose tyrannical behaviour 
was resented, but, in October 1856, the Persian pos- 
session of Herat was finally established. 

The Second Treaty with Dost Muhammad. The British 
took prompt action to meet this situation and, in January 
1857, by the terms of a second treaty, granted Dost 
Muhammad a subsidy of ; 10,000 per mensem during the 
continuation of hostilities, on the understanding that the 
money was to be spent on his army under the supervision 
of British officers; large numbers of muskets and 
quantities of ammunition were also supplied. 1 Actually, 
however, hostilities were ended before the Amir was able 
to take any action. 

The Anglo-Persian War of 1857. The British who 
were only anxious to bring just sufficient pressure on the 
Shah to oblige him to withdraw from Herat, occupied the 
island of Kharak and then the town of Bushire, A force 
under Sir James Outram marched inland and met a 
Persian army at Khushab near Borazjun and defeated it. 
Later, it landed at Mohamera on the River Karun and 
drove the enemy from the field. The Persian Govern- 
ment had already sued for peace after the capture of 
Bushire, and by the terms of the Treaty of Paris which was 
negotiated, the Shah agreed to evacuate Afghanistan and 
to recognize its independence. The Persians were amazed, 
and with reason, at the magnanimity of the British, who 
exacted no indemnity and did not even claim the dismissal 
of the hostile Vizier. Article 6 of the treaty runs : 

His Majesty the Shah of Persia agrees to relinquish all claims 
to sovereignty over the territory and city of Herat and the countries 

1 The treaty is given in Rawlinson's op, cit. Appendix III. 


of Afghanistan, and never to demand from the chiefs of Herat, or 
of the countries of Afghanistan, any marks of obedience, such as 
the issue of coinage or " khutba ", or tribute. 

His Majesty further engages to abstain hereafter from all inter- 
ference with the internal affairs of Afghanistan. His Majesty 
promises to recognize the independence of Herat and of the whole 
of Afghanistan, and never to attempt to interfere with the inde- 
pendence of those States. 

In case of differences arising between the Government of Persia 
and the countries of Herat and Afghanistan the Persian Govern- 
ment engages to refer them for adjustment to the friendly offices 
of the British Government, and not to take up arms unless those 
friendly offices fail of effect. 

The New Ruler of Herat. The Persian authorities, 
upon receiving information about the treaty, handed over 
Muhammad Yusuf to the relations of Said Muhammad, 
who put him to death. He was replaced by a Barakzai 
Sirdar, Sultan Ahmad Khan, a refugee son-in-law and 
nephew of Dost Muhammad, who agreed that the khutba 
should be read in the Shah's name. Consequently Persia 
continued to rule Herat through this Sirdar, who visited 
Tehran and received a robe of honour from the Shah. It 
is difficult to understand why the British Government 
did not iflsist that the provinces should be handed over to 
their ally Dost Muhammad. 

Dost Muhammad and the Indian Mutiny. In con- 
nexion with the second treaty 'with the Amir, a Mission 
consisting of three British officers reached Kandahar 
early in 1857. Shortly afterwards the Indian Mutiny 
broke out and the Governor of Kandahar, after reporting 
this fact and adding the news that all the English in 
India had been killed, inquired, " Had I not better cut 
the throats of these three officers? " Dost Muhammad 
replied: " It is useless. I know these English well. It 
may be true that all those in India have been killed, but 
they will come in thousands from beyond the sea and 
reconquer the country. Better leave these three men 
alone." The Amir had gained wisdom by his sojourn 
in India 1 

Dost Muhammad captures Herat and dies, 1 863. The 
Amir had regained Kandahar, thanks to the death of his 


disloyal brother Kohandil Khan. But he was not content 
to allow Ahmad Khan to recognize the suzerainty of 
Persia. Accordingly he marched on Herat, carried the 
city by storm and died nine days later. Thus passed off 
the stage a truly great Amir, who must have died happy 
in the knowledge that he had reunited all the provinces 
of Afghanistan. 



The Afghans youth have reddened their hands, 
As a falcon dyes its talons in the blood of its quarry. 
They have made their white swords red with blood, 
As a bed of tulips blooming in summer. 

From an Afghan poem. 

The Result of the Annexation of the Punjab. A new 
phase in Afghan history opened with the overthrow of 
the Sikh armies by the British and the subsequent 
annexation of the Punjab. Up to 1846 the policy of the 
British Government had mainly been concerned with 
the creation in Afghanistan, in Persia, and in Central 
Asia to a lesser degree, of a favourable political situation 
that would help to protect India from invasion by distant 
foes. But, between 1846 and 1849, the British assumed 
control of the provinces conquered by Ranjit Singh, 
which marched with the loosely defined boundaries of 
Afghanistan. The Indian Empire had thereby reached 
its natural limits and, by this advance, the North- West 
Frontier automatically became, and still remains, the 
most important question with which British admini- 
strators are faced. 1 

On the other hand, the development of communica- 
tions, and the assumption by the Crown of the Govern- 
ment of India after the Indian Mutiny, gradually resulted 
in the Secretary of State dictating the foreign policy of 
India; and when the Red Sea cable was laid in 1870, 
the liberty of controlling foreign policy by the Governor- 
General soon became a thing of the past. 

1 I have consulted Life of Lord Lawrence, by Bosworth Smith; Life of Robert, 
Marquis of Salisbury, by Lady Gwendolen Cecil; the Cambridge History of India, vol. vi; 
and From Alexander Burnes to Frederick Roberts, by J. L. Morrison, Raleigh Lecture, 



Sir Henry Lawrence as Warden of the Marches. 
During the period 1846-1853 Henry Lawrence set a 
notable example of the true lines for border administra- 
tion. He recruited the famous Corps of Guides from 
both sides of the frontier and constructed the road from 
Peshawar to Kohat through what is still independent 
tribal country. His views are aptly summarised in a letter 
to Lord Stanley: " It is not to be expected that such a 
frontier can ever be what is called quiet^ but it is quite in 
our power to prevent it being dangerous. . . . With a 
carte blanche I could guarantee, at a less expense than at 
present, to pacify the frontier within three years, that is, 
to make it as quiet as is consistent with the character of 
such a people.'* J 

General John Jacob, the Warden of the Sind Frontier. 
Another great frontier officer was Jacob. He had, like 
Henry Lawrence further north, gained a strong position 
on the Sind frontier. He had also realized the supreme 
strategical importance of Quetta. He wrote: " From 
Quetta, we could operate on the flank and rear of an 
army attempting to proceed towards the Kyber Pass; 
so that, with a British force at Quetta, the other road 
would be shut ". 2 

The Close Border Policy of Lord Lawrence. In spite of 
the striking success of these great frontier officers, John, 
Lord Lawrence as Viceroy failed to realize that it was 
unwise to cut off friendly intercourse with Afghanistan, 
since it would inevitably drive its Amirs to seek for support 
from Russia or Persia. He equally failed to realize that 
peace on the North- West Frontier could never be secured 
without a friendly Afghanistan. Lawrence had disagreed 
with a proposal of Edwardes, in 1853, that an attempt 
should be made to secure the goodwill of the Amir. He 
disagreed for two reasons: "One, that you will never 
get the Afghans to make a treaty; and two, if they make 
it, they will not keep it". Yet the treaty of 1853, 
strengthened by that of 1855, enabled Dost Muhammad 
to restrain his warlike subjects from invading India 

* H. M. Lawrence to Lord Stanley, March 31, 1853. 
2 Piews and Opinions of General Jacob, p. 379. 


during the Mutiny. As Dalhousie observed, the views of 
Lawrence were based on the fallacy that the Afghans 
were too foolish to recognize their own interests. 

The Indian Mutiny. During the very anxious period 
of the Indian Mutiny, Dost Muhammad, thanks to the 
treaties given in the last chapter, and perhaps still more 
to his knowledge of the vast resources at the disposal of 
Great Britain, had remained our friend. So much so was 
this the case that John Lawrence, who feared for the 
position of the small besieging force at Delhi, instructed 
Edwardes, the Commissioner of Peshawar, to consult 
with Brigadier Sydney Cotton and John Nicholson, the 
Deputy-Commissioner, as to the advisability of handing 
over Peshawar to the Amir. The answer was worthy of 
its writers: " We are unanimously of the opinion that, 
with God's help, we can and will hold Peshawar, let the 
worst come to the worst; and that it would be a fatal 
policy to abandon it, and retire beyond the Indus ". x 

The Sons of Dost Muhammad. To understand the 
constant struggle for power between the numerous sur- 
viving sons of Dost Muhammad, it is desirable to give a 
list of the most important among them, with some details 
as to the*posts they were holding at this juncture. The 
brackets denote sons by the same mother. 

1. Muhammad Afzal, aged 52, Governor of Afghan Turkistan 

2. Muhammad Azim, aged 45, Governor of Kurram 

3. SHIR ALI KHAN, aged 40, Heir designate 

B-J 4. Muhammad Amin, aged 34, Governor of Kandahar 

5. Muhammad Sharif, aged 30, Governor of Farah and Girishk 

6. Vali Muhammad, aged 33, Commandant of Akcha under Afzal 

7. Faiz Muhammad, aged 25, serving under Afzal 

( 8. Muhammad Aslam, aged 27, serving under Afzal 
D-j 9. Muhammad Hassan, aged 25 
(10. Muhammad Husayn, aged 23 

E |i i. Ahmad, aged 30 | b h ; d Af , 

\I2. Muhammad Zaman, aged 25; 6 

Gholam Haidar, who had formerly been nominated 
heir-apparent, and had negotiated the treaty with 
Lawrence, died in 1858, and the Amir had then informed 

1 Life of Lord Lawrence > by Bosworth Smith, vol. ii, pp. 137-141. 



the Viceroy that he had appointed Shir AH to be his 
successor. His reasons for the selection of Shir Ali in 
preference to his eldest son Afzal may well have been 
that the mother of Afzal was not a member of the royal 
tribe. Dost Muhammad, as stated above, had suffered 
much from a similar disability and preferred to choose a 
son with the highest claims by birth. In any case, as we 
have seen, Afzal had not behaved well when commanding 
a force outside Ghazni in 1839, 

Shir All Khan announces his Accession to the Viceroy. 
Shir Ali, immediately on his father's death, announced his 
accession to Lord Elgin, who, hearing rumours that his 
brothers might contest the throne with him, delayed his 
formal acknowledgment of the new Amir. In view of 
the friendly relations that had latterly existed with Dost 
Muhammad, this delay, which constituted a definite 
rebuff, was unfortunate. Lord Elgin died in the autumn 
of 1863 and it was not until six months after the receipt 
of Shir Ali's letter that Sir William Denison, who was 
acting Governor-General, gave a cold official reply. 

The Amir, upon receipt of the acknowledgment, 
asked that his son Muhammad Ali might be officially 
considered to be his heir. He also asked forta gift of 
6000 muskets. These requests were received by Law- 
rence, the new Viceroy, who agreed to recognize Muham- 
mad Ali as heir-apparent, but declined to supply the 
muskets. About this period an envoy from Persia reached 
Shir Ali, and that ruler, realizing that there was little 
hope of help from the British, received him with marked 
distinction. " 

The Rebellion of Afzal Khan and Azim Khan. Three 
months later, in April 1864, Shir Ali, possibly, if not 
probably, owing to the coldness of the Viceroy, was faced 
with a serious rebellion of his two elder brothers. Crush- 
ing Azim by a force under his general Muhammad 
Rafik, he crossed the Hindu Kush and engaged Afzal's 
army at Bajgah. After an indecisive engagement, Afzal 
sued for peace and was restored to his government. But 
before Shir Ali had quitted Afghan Turkistan, he heard 
that Abdur Rahman, the son of Afzal, whom he had 


summoned to his presence, had fled across the Oxus. 
He thereupon imprisoned Afzal, and appointed Fatteh 
Muhammad Khan, son of the deceased Akbar Khan, to 
the governorship of the province. Having thus settled 
matters in Afghan Turkistan, he returned victorious to 

The Battle of Kujbaz, June 1865. In the spring of 
1865, Shir Ali's own brothers, Muhammad Amin and 
Muhammad Sharif rebelled. The two armies met in the 
vicinity of Kalat-i-Ghilzai and the engagement resulted 
in the defeat of the rebels. During the battle, Muham- 
mad AH, the heir-apparent, engaged in single combat 
with his uncle Muhammad Amin in which both were 
wounded with sword cuts. The uncle then killed his 
nephew with a pistol shot and was himself despatched by 
Muhammad Ali's soldiers, both men falling within a few 
paces of one another. Muhammad Amin's corpse was 
brought before Shir Ali, who exclaimed: " Throw away 
the body of this dog, and bid my son come and con- 
gratulate me on the victory ". Shortly afterwards, his 
attendants, not daring to tell him that his son had also 
been killed, silently brought in the corpse. " Who is this 
other dog? " exclaimed the Amir, but, when he learned 
the truth, he rent his garments and cast dust upon his 
head. In spite of the father's overwhelming grief at the 
loss of his heir, Sharif Khan, who had sued for peace, 
was pardoned, while Azim Khan fled to British territory, 
where he continued to plot against the Amir. 

The Rebellion of Abdur Rahman Khan, July 1865. 
For months after the tragedy Shir Ali remained a 
demented man, indifferent to all around him. En- 
couraged by what appeared to be the end of the Amir's 
reign, Abdur Rahman crossed the Oxus and, upon his 
arrival in Afghan Turkistan, was joined by the troops 
which had served under him. He was also aided by 
troops and money from Bukhara, and advanced on Kabul 
in the name of its Amir. This invasion aroused much 
consternation, since Shir Ali refused to return to the 
capital where the garrison was weak and the soldiers 
remained unpaid. 


Abdur Rahman occupies Kabul on February 24, 1866. 
The rebel Sirdar had won over more than one chief, 
who had been estranged from Shir Ali. He had also been 
joined by Azim Khan, who had recruited some soldiers. 
Muhammad Ibrahim Khan, a younger son of Shir Ali, 
had done his best to hold Kabul with an inadequate force 
of unpaid troops, but, finally, he was forced to take 
refuge in the Bala Hissar, and Abdur Rahman occupied 
Kabul city without serious opposition. A few days later, 
Muhammad Ibrahim, having received an assurance of 
safety, handed over the Bala Hissar to Azim Khan. 

The Battle of Sheikhabad, May 9, 1866. This very 
serious news from Kabul finally aroused the Amir from 
his stupor. Marching north with a force of 9000 infantry, 
5000 cavalry and 25 guns, he found the enemy strongly 
entrenched at Sheikhabad, some thirty miles south of 
Kabul, and attacked with the utmost determination. At 
the fourth assault he was apparently winning the battle 
when, at this critical juncture, some Kandahar levies 
deserted to the enemy. Shir Ali, thereupon, followed by 
some 500 horsemen, fled from the field. The Governor 
of Ghazni, deciding to side with the victors, shut the city 
gates in the face of Shir Ali and released Aftal Khan. 
The liberated Sirdar speedily joined Azim Khan's camp, 
where, under a salute of 100 guns, he was proclaimed 
Amir. He then, supported by Azim Khan and all the 
Chiefs of the party, entered the Bala Hissar under a 
second salute. 

The Battle of Kalat-i-Ghilzai> January 1867. During 
the period that elapsed since the battle of Sheikhabad, 
the intrigues of various Sirdars are too numerous to 
relate. However, the Kabul army marched south and 
was met near Kalat-i-Ghilzai by Shir Ali. The Kandahar 
contingent broke, as in the previous action, and, as a 
result of the battle, the gates of Kandahar were shut 
against the vanquished Amir, who retired to Herat. 

The British Communication to Afzal Khan, February 
!867. Afzal Khan wrote to inform the Viceroy of his 
victory at Kalat-i-Ghilzai. The position of the British 
authorities, faced with these kaleidoscopic changes, was 


shown in a letter which stated that pity was felt for Shir 
Ali Khan although, as the Viceroy was careful to point 
out, he had not been aided with arms or money. Lawrence 
then went on to state that he would acknowledge Afzal 
as Amir of Kabul and Kandahar if he, in return, would 
recognize as binding the two treaties made with Dost 

The Mission of Takub Khan to the Shah, July 1867. 
This short-sighted policy of the Viceroy had the result 
that Shir Ali, despairing of aid from the British, despatched 
his son Yakub Khan to solicit help from the Shah. Pro- 
ceeding to Meshed the envoy had an audience of Nasir- 
ud-Din, but nothing followed except an exchange of 
gifts. The Shah was naturally afraid of arousing British 

Another Defeat of Shir Ali Khan, September 1867. 
Shir Ali, realizing the treachery of his Kandahar subjects, 
made his way to Turkistan where he raised an army 
under Faiz Muhammad, Governor of the province. 
He advanced on the capital from the north but was 
defeated by the skilful tactics of Abdur Rahman at Kila 
Alladad, situated to the north of Charikar. 

The Death of Afzal Khan, October 7, 1867. Upon 
his return to Kabul, Abdur Rahman found that his 
father had died. He was at once involved in disputes 
with Azim Khan, the new Amir, who refused to pay the 
troops their long overdue arrears. Abdur Rahman, wishing 
to take his own troops to Afghan Turkistan, claimed the 
entire artillery force. 

Anxious to be free from his uncle at all costs, and 
hoping to deliver the coup de grace to Shir Ali, Abdur 
Rahman marched off northwards. It was mid-winter and 
his army suffered heavy losses from the cold, but he 
finally crossed the passes only to find that Shir Ali had 
evacuated the province. He then, much hampered by 
lack of money, set to work to re-establish his position, 
intending to pursue Shir Ali to Herat. He was, however, 
repulsed in the siege of the insignificant fort of Maimana, 
which was held by a loyal partisan of Shir Ali, and 
although the Chief finally made terms with the invader, 


the losses of the latter had been so severe that Abdur 
Rahman abandoned all ideas of attacking Herat. 

Shir Alt returns to Herat and advances on Kandahar. 
Shir Ali in defeat was at his best. He fell back on 
Turkistan and, in January 1868, taking with him 6000 
troops, 6 guns and a large sum of money provided by 
the widow of Faiz Muhammad, he marched back to 
Herat. He was obviously encouraged by the death of 
Afzal Khan, more especially as he realized the unpopu- 
larity of Azim Khan with' the Chiefs and inhabitants of 
Kabul, and his strained relations with Abdur Rahman. 
Indeed the hatred inspired by Azim, who was both cruel 
and miserly, raised the country against him and, in the 
absence of Abdur Rahman, the position at the capital 
went from bad to worse. 

Shir Ali, before hearing of the result of the siege of 
Maimana, had despatched a force under his son Yakub 
Khan, This force defeated Azim's sons, who shared the 
unpopularity of their father, and Yakub Khan reoccupied 

The Fall of Azim Khan. Azim Khan sought assist- 
ance from Abdur Rahman, but in vain; the Chiefs 
deserted him; Ayub Khan and Abdulla Khan, the 
younger sons of Shir Ali, were released by their father's 
partisans and collected a force. Finally Ismail Khan, 
who had been deprived of the governorship of Kandahar 
by Azim Khan, left Abdur Rahman (with whom he had 
quarrelled), marched on Kabul, and, being joined by 
tribesmen from the hills, occupied the city and ultimately 
captured the Bala Hissar. Upon hearing of the fall of the 
citadel, Azim's army began to desert, and eventually, 
without a battle, the Amir, realizing that all was lost, 
fled at the end of August to Afghan Turkistan. 

The Battle of Zurmat, January 1869. The final 
victory of Shir Ali was won in the vicinity of Ghazni, the 
gates of which were closed against Azim Khan, who had 
reappeared on the scene. There were almost daily skir- 
mishes for over a month, but the cause of Shir Ali was 
materially strengthened by the arrival of 2 lakhs I of rupees 

1 A lakh of rupees represented 10,000 at this period. 

xxxiv SHIR ALI AS AMIR 77 

and 3000 muskets from Lawrence with the promise of 
further assistance. 

Abdur Rahman's account of the engagement l shows 
that, against his own judgment, he was forced by Azim 
Khan to attack Zanakhan, " where there are six or seven 
forts ", and thus attempt to prevent Shir Ali, who was 
encamped in the neighbourhood, from obtaining supplies. 
This movement necessitated dividing the force " and 
marching all day and over snow towards night ". Actu- 
ally, since the fort was not surrendered, the attacking 
force spent the night sitting in the snow, and suffering 
severely from the cold. 

Realizing that Shir Ali would fight in the morning, 
Abdur Rahman begged Azim Khan to send reinforce- 
ments without delay, only to receive the reply that he 
would start directly the weather became warmer. As 
was anticipated, Shir Ali attacked at dawn, captured the 
artillery and completely routed the rebels. Abdur 
Rahman, unable to rally his men, fled towards Zurmat, 
and joined Azim, who had deserted his troops. Abdur 
Rahman concludes his account of the disaster: u A few 
days before, I had possessed in my treasury 800,000 
gold coirts of Bukhara, 20,000 English sovereigns, 
20,000 drams of gold, eleven lakhs of rupees, Kabuli, 
five lakhs of rupees, Kunduz. . . . Now we were defeated 
and had no money/' Practically destitute, the ill-matched 
couple, accompanied by a few faithful followers, started 
on their travels, which are described in Chapter XLL 

Shir Alfs Visit to India^ 1869. Shir Ali was grateful 
fcfr the help he had received from the British and wished 
to accept Lawrence's invitation to visit India, but deferred 
it owing to anxiety as to the movements of Azim Khan 
and Abdur Rahman. However, in March 1869, the 
Amir met Lord Mayo, Lawrence's successor, at Ambala. 
He was delighted with the friendliness of his reception, 
and in the discussions which followed he brought forward 
two proposals. In the first place, seriously alarmed by 
the continued advance of Russia towards his kingdom, 
he desired the British Government to guarantee him their 

1 Life of Amir Abdur Rahman, pp. 101-105. 


aid in case of external attack. His second wish was that 
the British Government should not acknowledge " any 
friend in the whole of Afghanistan save the Amir and his 
descendants ". 

Mayo, however, was only permitted to write that 
" considering that the bonds of friendship have lately 
been more closely drawn than heretofore, it [the British 
Government] will view with severe displeasure any 
attempt on the part of your rivals to disturb your position 
as Ruler of Cabul and rekindle civil war, and it will further 
endeavour, from time to time, by such means as cir- 
cumstances may require, to strengthen the Government 
of Your Highness. . . ." l The gifts made to Shir Ali 
on this occasion included 6 lakhs of rupees, 6500 muskets, 
four i8-pounder siege guns, two 8-inch howitzers and a 
mountain battery of six 3-pounder guns. 

The Amir had received no guarantee against external 
attack, but his reception had been friendly; he had also 
been given money, arms and ammunition, with an under- 
standing that he would receive further support from time 
to time. It is interesting to note that the Afridi tribesmen 
looted some of the Amir's stores, which were ransomed 
by a payment of 3000 rupees. * 

Internal Reforms. Upon his return from India, Shir 
Ali, influenced by Mayo's advice, threw himself with 
much zeal into reforms. Among them was the creation 
of a Council composed of thirteen members, to advise 
the Amir on all administrative questions. As, however, 
Shir Ali soon realized that the Chiefs were merely looking 
to their own interests, this scheme ultimately fell through. 
The difficult question of finance was also attacked, and it 
was decided to collect the land revenue, not as hitherto, 
half in kind, half in cash, but wholly in cash. Shir Ali 
was also opposed to farming out the collection of taxes to 
the Governors. Finally, in order to secure the regular 
payment of the troops, he gave orders that 39 lakhs 
should be earmarked from the four principal provinces 
for this purpose. The army was then reorganized, all 
irregulars being converted into regulars and paid in cash, 

ParL Papers, 1878-9, Ivi, 466. 

Sayyid Nur Muhammad Shah 


Amir Shir AH Khan 

H.E. The Earl of Mayo 

Abdulla Jan 
(Appointed Heir- Apparent, 1873) 

(By favour of Sir Louis Dane) 

xxxiv SHIR ALI AS AMIR 79 

instead of by orders on villages. Efforts were also made 
to keep the men with the colours, while manuals of in- 
struction were prepared inpushtu for all arms. Uniforms, 
too, were being gradually supplied. 

The Viceroy gave assistance to the Amir's efforts by 
the gift of 1 200 two-grooved Brunswick rifles, 1200 
three-grooved carbines, and 1000 smooth-bore pistols. 
Meanwhile Armstrong guns were being manufactured at 
Kabul with some success. In March 1 8 7 1 , it was reported 
that the regular troops had received eleven months' pay 
for the past year, but were grumbling because one month's 
pay had been deducted on account of the cost of their 
uniforms ! Of less importance was the organization of a 
postal service to Peshawar, for which stamps were struck, 
the improvement of roads and the cleansing of the Kabul 

A Persian Mission to Kabul, September 1869. In the 
summer of 1869, a Persian envoy reached Herat whose 
ostensible object was to congratulate the Amir on his 
victories and to convey friendly assurances. Actually his 
real object was to learn what had passed at Amballa and 
to ascertain the Amir's views with respect to Persia and 
more especially with regard to Seistan. The envoy, 
during his stay at Kabul, presented a friendly letter from 
the Prince-Governor of Khurasan to Yakub, together 
with the gift of a double-barrelled gun. Shir Ali treated 
the envoy with coolness. He gave him a small allowance 
and dismissed him with a friendly but formal letter to the 
Prince-Governor at Meshed. 

The Reception of Mir Abdul Malik, son of Amir Muzajfar 
of Bukhara, August 1869. In the same year, the Amir of 
Bukhara, accompanied by Ishak Khan, son of Azim Khan, 
had marched to the Oxus, at the head of a strong force, 
in order to crush the rebellion of his son Abdul Malik. 
This Prince, who had attempted to raise Jihad against the 
Russians in opposition to his father's wishes, shortly 
afterwards made his way to Taktapul, where, by Shir 
Ali's instructions, he was escorted with honour to Kabul. 
Upon his arrival in the vicinity of the capital with eighty 
followers, the Amir held a durbar for the reception of the 


Prince, who is described as being eighteen years of age, 
small and quiet. He had apparently made the remark that, 
had he known of his host's good relations with the British 
Government, he would not have sought his protection. 

Shir AH was inclined to take advantage of the situation 
and wrote to the Commissioner of Peshawar that, in view 
of the injuries suffered by Afghanistan, owing to the 
encouragement given by the Amir of Bukhara to raids by 
Afghan refugees, and in view of the certainty of Russia 
advancing to Charjui and Kirki, he proposed to occupy 
these places. The reply was that the British Govern- 
ment, while deeming him fully entitled to resist foreign 
aggression to the utmost, could not approve of the acts 
of aggression which the Amir suggested. It was also 
pointed out that the Amir of Bukhara was allied to Russia, 
which Power was on friendly terms with Great Britain. 

Prince Abdul Malik had strongly urged Shir Ali to 
attack Bukhara, but upon meeting with a definite refusal, 
he left Kabul and, on November i, recrossed the Oxus. 

The Raid of Ishak Khan, July 1869. At this period 
Ishak Khan, Azim Khan's son, who had recruited some 
Turkoman, crossed the Oxus and attacked Akchah. The 
local Jezailchis set fire to the magazine in <hat town 
and then, together with the Turkistan cavalry, deserted 
to the enemy. Ishak subsequently advanced on Balkh, 
but was routed near that city by Mir Alum, Shir Ali's 
Governor, and fled across the Oxus. At this period, 
owing to the number of officers and men who had served 
under Abdur Rahman, there was constant danger of a 
mutiny in the Afghan army, more especially among the 
artillery officers. On the other hand, information reached 
Kabul in November that Amir Muzaffar was displeased 
with Ishak, had stopped his allowance and had forbidden 
him to attend the Court. 

Abdur Rahman had reported his arrival to the Amir 
of Bukhara, but, as mentioned in Chapter XXXIX, was 
coldly received by him at Hissar. Muzaffar mentioned 
the subject in a typical letter to Mir Alum: " Abdur 
Rahman Khan has arrived at Bukhara to perform devo- 
tion ; you know how these people come as travellers, one 


goes and another comes. I consider the wants of all, and 
treat them as guests for a few days, till their fortunes 
improve; at least, such is my hope. My friendship is the 
same for all of them." 

The Rebellion of Takub Khan. Shir Ali was pressed, 
time and again, by Yakub to be acknowledged as heir- 
apparent. The Amir gave evasive replies, since his real 
intention was that his youngest son Abdulla Jan should 
be his successor. Yakub Khan was aware of this 
indeed it was clear to everyone and, in September 
1870, he suddenly left the capital and wrote to Shir Ali: 
" My life being oppressed, I took to flight. For the 
sake of God and the Prophet do not trouble me. I am 
desperate ; if you come you will receive no profit from 

The Attempt on Kandahar. The rebel Prince then 
collected his adherents and, taking his younger brother 
Ayub Khan with him, rode off" to Kandahar. He found 
the gates of Ghazni closed against him and also failed to 
gain the support of the garrison of Kalat-i-Ghilzai. At 
Kandahar he occupied the adjacent Kandahar-i-Nadiri, 
collected some troops and levied some revenue. How- 
ever, he again failed to win over the garrison and con- 
sequently fled westwards. He attacked the fort of 
Girishk, only to be beaten off and next retired in the 
direction of Seistan. Pursued by a body of troops, he 
reached the district of Rudbar, close to the Seistan 
hamun. He then entered Persian Seistan, where the 
Governor, Mir Alum Khan, who is referred to in the last 
ckapter, supplied him and his followers with food. 

The Anxiety of the British. At this period the British 
Minister at Tehran obtained assurances that the refugee 
Prince would not be allowed to march on Herat through 
Persian territory, but that if he did enter Persia, he would 
be brought to Meshed and treated like other Afghan 

Takub Khan takes Herat, 1871. The rebel Prince 
left Seistan in March 1871 with his following and, un- 
hindered by the Persian authorities, marched on Ghurian, 
the Afghan garrison of which frontier fortress went over 



to him. He then advanced on Herat, being joined by 
bodies of the local troops, and, on May 6, with the 
connivance of its defenders, Herat was taken with, 
trifling losses. 

Takub Khan surrenders to Shir Alt , July 1871. Much 
intriguing followed this undoubted success. But inter- 
mediaries finally succeeded in inducing Yakub, whose 
position was none too strong at Herat, to return to Kabul. 
There, in order to test his loyalty, Shir Ali sent his son 
the following message: " I have formed the wish to 
retire, and have withdrawn myself from worldly affairs, 
and am, by my own will and intention, entrusting the 
reins of government to you ". Yakub replied: " As I 
have become penitent for my faults, I have entirely 
abandoned the idea of government, and have merely 
waited on Your Highness to obtain forgiveness for my 
past offences. Should Your Highness kill me or place 
me in confinement, I shall consider it a glory in the world 
to come." 

Takub Khan reappointed Governor of Herat, September 
1871. In September the Amir replied to the Viceroy's 
letter, in which Mayo strongly urged reconciliation with 
Yakub, that, in view of his deep humility and>penitence, 
he had forgiven him. He then reappointed him Governor 
of Herat, but did not give him full control. 

Such then was the position in Afghanistan at the end 
of 1871. Shir Ali, who was unpopular and unable to 
raise sufficient revenue for the payment of his troops and 
other expenses, had indeed regained the throne but, in 
this constantly disturbed land, more than in other' 
countries, " uneasy lies the head that wears a crown ". 



It would be manifestly futile to base the safety of the North-West Frontier 
of India upon any understanding, stipulation, convention or treaty with the 
Imperial Government. I do not mean to imply that the Emperor and his 
ministers would wilfully violate their engagements; but the authority of the 
Russian executive is so slight, the control it exercises over its distant agents 
and military chiefs is so unsteady, and its policy is so designedly tentative 
while the forces which stimulate the aggressive instincts of the nation are so 
constant, that little reliance could be ultimately placed upon mere verbal 
guarantees. LORD DUFFERIN to Lord Salisbury, 1880. 

The more powerful Russia becomes in Central Asia, the weaker England 
becomes in India, and consequently the more amenable in Europe. SKOBELOFF. 
From Merv, last home of the free-lance, the clansmen are scattering far, 
And the Turkman horses are harnessed to the guns of the Russian Czar. 


The Position of Russia in Central Asia. The advance 
of Russia across Central Asia may be considered to have 
begun in the second quarter of the nineteenth century. 1 
At this period her boundary in Asia ran from the mouth 
of the Ural River to Orenburg and thence to Omsk and 
Semipalatinsk. This line was defended by forts and 
outposts which, generally speaking, skirted the great 
Kirghiz steppe. At this same period British India was 
bounded by the River Sutlej and the north-west desert. 
Consequently a zone some fourteen hundred miles wide 
separated the two empires. 

The First Expedition against Khiva, 1839-1 840. The 
Uzbeg Khan of Khiva had long been a most unsatis- 
factory neighbour. He had encouraged raiding for 
slaves, cattle and other loot, and the number of Russian 
prisoners whom he held and ill-treated was considerable. 
But, apart from these justifiable reasons for a punitive 
expedition, the British occupation of Kabul probably 

1 Among other works I have consulted England and Russia in the East, by Sir Henr 
Rawlinsonj also Anglo-Russian Relations concerning Afghanistan, 1837-1907, by William 
Hubberton, 1937. 



provided an incentive to the Russian frontier officials, 
if not to the Government, to undertake an important 
advance towards India. Accordingly, in November 
1839, the Governor, Count Perovski, in command of 
3000 infantry, 2000 Cossacks, and a powerful artillery, 
started from Orenburg on a march of 900 miles across 
the desert. He carried supplies on an enormous column 
of baggage camels. But the lack of forage and the cold, 
which killed off his camels by hundreds, forced the 
column to retreat before even reaching the Ust-Urt 
plateau, situated midway between the Caspian and the 
Aral Seas. The column, which suffered heavy losses, 
returned to Orenburg in June 1840. 

This expedition, although it ended in disaster, 
alarmed Major Todd, Great Britain's representative at 
Herat. Under his instructions Captain James Abbot, 
followed later by Captain Richmond Shakespear, crossed 
the desert 700 miles wide to Khiva where they explained 
to the Khan the extreme danger of flouting Russia. Not 
content with this, the latter officer induced him to 
release all his Russian slaves, and personally conducted 
them, numbering four hundred men, women and children, 
to Orenburg, a truly remarkable feat. 1 ' 

It had been decided to despatch a second expedition 
against Khiva, but the Uzbeg Chief tendered his sub- 
mission and, in 1 842, he agreed to a treaty, by the terms of 
which slave-dealing was abolished in Khiva, and raiding 

In Chapter XXX the relief experienced by the British 
envoy in Afghanistan at Perovski's failure is noted, while 
the subsequent disastrous retreat of our army from Kabul 
was triumphantly recorded by the Russians as the re- 
tirement to the old frontier and the abandonment by the 
British of the " tyrannous and exorbitant policy " of 
founding in the heart of Asia a powerful state, of which 
they should be the masters. 2 

1 Vide " From Herat to Ourenbourgh ", by Capt. Sir R. Shakespear, Blacktvood's 
Magazine, June 1842. It appears that Abbot exceeded his instructions and negotiated 
an offensive and defensive alliance with the KAan, and that Shakespear was sent to 
repair Abbot's mistake. 

2 Vide Schiemann's Geschichte Russian ds unter Kaiser Nikolaus /, vol. iv, p. 28. 


The Russians occupy the Sea of Aral^ 1844,. The 
failure of the Khiva expedition made Russia realize the 
importance of occupying the great Kirghiz desert which 
spread from the Ural Mountains to the Sea of Aral. In 
1844 her explorers reached this inland sea and, in 1847, 
occupied the mouth of the Sir Daria by the erection 
of a fort termed Aralsk. In due course a flotilla was 
launched, which materially assisted her further advance. 

The Decay of the Khanates. At this period the 
Khanates, which Russia was about to annex, had fallen 
from their former greatness. Arminius Vamb^ry, who 
made his celebrated journey to Central Asia in 1863, 
describes the Khan of Khiva as " being in appearance so 
frightfully dissolute and as presenting in every feature 
of his countenance the real picture of an enervated imbecile 
and savage tyrant". 1 Of Bukhara he writes: " The 
wretchedness of the streets and houses far exceeded that 
of the meanest habitations in Persia, and gave but an 
ignoble idea of Bukhara the Noble ". To misgovern- 
ment, corruption, bigotry, constant wars and the in- 
security of the caravan routes must be added the decrease 
in the volume of the rivers on which the life of the crops 
depended* Under these conditions the absorption of 
the Khanates in the Russian Empire was effected with 
remarkable ease. 

The Advance up the Sir Daria. Russia was now 
operating in Khokand territory and naturally excited the 
hostility of that state by her occupation of the mouth of 
the Sir Daria. In 1853 she attacked the fort of Ak 
Masjid, situated 220 miles up the river. Owing to a 
reconnaissance made in the previous year, the fort had 
been much strengthened and was only assailable by 
regular approaches. However, a breach was effected by 
the explosion of a mine and Ak Masjid was stormed. 
The Khokandis made repeated but ineffectual efforts to 
recover Ak Masjid and, for the next eight years, Russia 
was fully occupied in consolidating her position. Apart 

1 Travels in Central Asia, passim. I spent a happy day at Budapest, listening to 
Vambe'ry's adventures, shortly after my return from my first journey in Central Asia 
some forty-eight Jears ago. 


from the hostility of Khokand and the veiled hostility 
of Khiva, the whole area between the Orenburg line 
to the Sea of Aral was thrown into confusion by a Kirghiz 
bandit who for five years defied the Russian efforts to 
capture him. During this period the Crimean War also 
stopped all progress. 

Russian Advance Eastwards. The Russian advance 
to the eastwards had been steady and had resulted in 
bringing under control the Kirghiz of the Great Horde 
around Lake Balkash. In 1 854 Fort Vernoe was founded 
in this area and garrisoned by 5000 military colonists. 

The Creation of the Province of Turkistan, 1867. 
When the main advance was resumed, Tashkent was 
stormed in 1865. In the following year, and again in 
1868, the Amir of Bukhara was defeated, the spoils of 
victory, including Samarkand, while Bukhara now became 
a " subsidiary ally " of Russia. 

These conquests constituted the province of Turkistan, 
whose administration was purely military, all reports 
being sent to the War Office at St. Petersburg. In 1876 
Khokand was occupied and completed the annexation 
of the Khanates. 

The Russian Occupation of Krasnovodsk.-+\n 1869 
Russia established herself at desolate Krasnovodsk, now 
the starting-point of the Central Asian Railway 1 and, 
shortly afterwards, occupied Chikishliar, situated near 
the mouth of the River Atrek. Persia protested, but in 
vain. The declared object of Russia was the opening up 
of a trade-route to Central Asia, a policy which was partly 
inspired by the desire to gain contact with the province 
of Turkistan from the west. The routes to the interior 
were surveyed and Russian influence over the Yamut 
Turkoman was gradually established. 

The Annexation of Khiva, 1873. The attitude of 
the Khan of Khiva towards his northern neighbours had 
been consistently foolish. He had declined to release the 
captives whom he had enslaved, while he instigated raids 
on the Russian possessions. Altogether he was a typically 
barbarous ruler who, relying on the Russian failure of a 

* It is generally termed the Transcaspian Railway by English writers. 


generation ago, believed that he could defy that Power 
with impunity. He was warned, time and again, but in 
vain. Russia during this period had sent out powerful 
reconnaissance forces from three sides towards Khiva 
and finally, columns from Ak Masjid (renamed Fort 
Perovski), Tashkent and Orenburg converged on Khiva. 1 

On June 10 the capital was stormed and the Khan 
perforce signed a treaty with General Kaufmann by the 
terms of which " he renounced all direct and friendly 
relations existing with neighbouring rulers ". Further- 
more, the lands on the right bank of the Oxus passed 
into the possession of Russia, a fort being constructed on 
them. It was also stipulated that Russia possessed the 
sole right of navigation on the Oxus and that Russian 
merchandise was to pass free of customs. Finally, a 
heavy war indemnity was imposed, 

Anglo-Russian Relations. The relations of Great 
Britain and Russia were, generally speaking, distinctly 
friendly at this period. Assurances were given by Prince 
Gortchakoff that there was no intention of annexing Khiva 
and they were apparently genuine. Actually, the unwise 
behaviour of the Khan of Khiva, together with the am- 
bition of fche Russian frontier officers, forced the hand of 
the Russian Government. In view of the Tsar's assurance, 
given in January 1873, that there was no intention to 
incorporate Khiva or to extend her possessions in Central 
Asia, this almost immediate violation of assurances was 
naturally viewed seriously by the British Government. 

The Anglo-Russian Agreement of 1873. However, 
the Russian Foreign Office, as distinct from their War 
Office, was anxious to settle matters with Great Britain on 
reasonable terms. Various proposals were made but, 
finally, an important Agreement relating to the northern 
frontier of Afghanistan, was signed. It was stated in 
Lord Granville's despatch of October 17, 1872, as 
follows: " Badakhshan with its dependent district of 
Wakhan from Sir-i-Kul [Lake Victoria] on the east to 
the junction of the Kokcha River with the Oxus (or Panja) 

1 A fourth column, that was despatched from Krasnovodsk, was obliged, from lack 
of water, to bury its guns and retreat. 


forming the northern boundary of this Afghan Province 
throughout its entire length ". The Oxus continued to 
be the boundary as far as the ferry of Khwaja Salar l on 
the road between Balkh and Bukhara, at which point that 
river turned north-west towards the Sea of Aral. Further 
west it was agreed that a line should be drawn from 
Khwaja Salar towards the Persian frontier to include 
Andkhui and Maimana in Afghanistan, but it was 
stipulated by the Russian Government that " the old 
city of Merv and adjacent Turkoman districts " should 
be excluded from its possessions. 

A despatch of Prince Gortchakoff of January 31, 
1873, which was couched in most friendly terms, con- 
cluded this Agreement. Its results were two-fold. Great 
Britain gained for Afghanistan northern boundaries that 
were definitely fixed in one section by the Oxus, whereas 
west of the great bend of that river, the boundary was 
approximately, but not definitely, laid down. Of further 
great importance was the avowal by Russia, which was 
repeated on more than one occasion, that Afghanistan 
lay wholly outside her sphere of influence. 2 

Persian Campaigns against the Turkoman, 18521861. 
The Turkoman question was one of great importance 
to Persia, whose province of Khurasan was incessantly 
ravaged by these manstealing raiders. In 1857 the 
Governor-General of that province invited eighty Turko- 
man chiefs to a conference at Meshed, where they were 
promptly imprisoned. Taking advantage of the favour- 
able situation, he marched on Merv, which he occupied 
after gaining a victory over the leaderless Turkoman. 
Three years later, his successor occupied Merv once again 
but was defeated in an attack he made on an entrenched 
camp of the Tekke. The Persians fled utterly de- 
moralized and were enslaved by hundreds, so much so 
that slaves became a drug on the Bikhara market. After 
this disaster, Persia limited her activities to raiding 
expeditions from Sarakhs, 

1 On the map prepared by Burnes the spelling is Khojusalu. Another spelling is 
Khoja Saleh. The spelling in the text is that given by Holdich. 

* Gortchakoff to Brunnow, Jan. 31, 1873, Parl. Papers, 1873, Ixxv (" Correspondence 
with Russia respecting Central Asia "), pp. 15-16. 


The Proclamation and Campaigns of General Lomakin. 
In 1 874, General Lomakin, the newly appointed Governor 
of Krasnovodsk, issued a proclamation to the Yamuts, 
who occupied both banks of the Atrek, and to other 
Turkoman tribes who inhabited the country as far as 
Merv and the Oxus, inviting them to send delegates to 
meet him. Three years later, after a series of recon- 
naissances, he led an expedition against Kizil Arvat and 
received the submission of the Khans. 

The Russo-Turkish Campaign, 1877-1878. In April 
1877 Russia had declared war on Turkey and in 1878, 
when the Russian army had reached the walls of Con- 
stantinople, the British Government had interposed with 
her fleet, and had subsequently, at Berlin, insisted upon 
the modifications adverse to Russian interests that were 
contained in the Treaty of San Stephano. 

Russia's Counterstroke in Asia. The answer of Russia, as 
described in Chapter XXXVII, was the march of Russian 
troops towards Afghanistan and the despatch of a Mission 
to Kabul charged with the task of making an alliance 
with Shir Ali, who was merely a pawn in the game and 
was thrown aside without scruple when it was lost. It 
is to be floted that Bismarck was working industriously 
to avert a coalition of Russia, France and England by 
stirring up dissensions between the three Powers. In the 
event, the conclusion of the Treaty of Berlin on July 13, 
1878, stayed the advance of the Russian army, General 
Stolietoff was withdrawn but, as we shall see, other 
members of the Mission remained at Kabul for some 

The Defeat of General Lomakin at Geok Teppe. In 
1879 Lomakin renewed his advance into the interior 
and attacked the walled camp of the Tekke Turkoman at 
Geok Teppe, 1 His artillery inflicted serious losses on 
its defenders, but his attempt at storming the fortress was 
repulsed and he retreated suffering heavy losses in men, 
material and prestige. 

The Capture of Geok Teppe by General Skobeloff, 1881. 

1 It was actually termed Denghil Teppe, but is known as Geok Teppe or " Blue 
Hill " in Europe. 


In the following year Skobeloff who had been appointed 
to avenge this disaster, made a reconnaissance in force and 
then retired to the Caspian where he completed his 
preparations. In December he reappeared on the scene 
with a force of 7000 men and 60 guns. The fortress con- 
sisted of a quadrilateral enclosure with walls 35 feet thick 
at the base and 25 feet thick at the top. On this wide 
top were constructed an inner and outer parapet with 
loopholes and a large number of traverses, designed to 
protect the defenders. The Tekke made desperate sorties, 
but the bombardment by heavy artillery and the ex- 
plosions of mines, followed by a storming party captured 
the stronghold. The pursuit of the fugitives became a 
massacre. Personally, when I visited the fortress some 
years later, I marvelled at the courage with which, in face 
of terrible losses, this walled enclosure was held. 

Thus fell the last great stronghold of Central Asia. 
The survivors of the Tekke Turkoman were cowed and 
their kinsmen of Merv were easily persuaded to submit 
by Alikhanoff, a Moslem of Daghestan, whom I met 
later at Tiflis, In 1884 Merv thus became a part of the 
Russian Empire, as did the Sariks of Yulatan to the 
south. This campaign made the Tsar the Master of 
Central Asia. 

The Effect on the British Position. In Great Britain 
the capture of Geok Teppe, followed by the submission 
and annexation of the Turkoman of Merv aroused strong 
feeling. It was not apparently realized by our statesmen 
that organized Russia, in the presence of tribes whose 
warlike instincts found their chief outlet in raiding an'd 
who believed themselves invincible, was irresistibly com- 
pelled to advance until she reached a definite frontier, 
such as the British were anxious to negotiate with her for 
Afghanistan and, finally, did negotiate. From the military 
point of view, the annexation of the Turkoman country 
affected the strategical position most unfavourably for 
India, since the armies of Trans-Caspia and Turkistan 
were brought into direct touch, while railways completed 
their power of rapid concentration on the Afghan frontier. 



And thou hast trod the sands of Seistan, 

And seen the River of Helmand, and the Lake of Zireh. 

But I 

Have never known my grandsire's furrowed face, 
Nor seen his lofty house in Seistan, 
Nor slaked my thirst at the clear Helmand stream. 

MATTHEW ARNOLD, Sohrab and Rustutn. 

A Geographical Outline. Before dealing with the 
intricate problems relating to Seistan, a brief account of 
this interesting area, which is divided between Afghanistan 
and Persia, is, I think, desirable. 1 

Seistan is a large basin some seven thousand square 
miles in area, which receives all the drainage of a vast tract 
of country. The Helmand is the principal river, but the 
Khash Rud, Farah Rud and Harut Rud, together with 
torrents from the western mountains, all drain into this 
inland hamun, which at times forms a lagoon one hundred 
miles in length by some ten miles in width. Every few 
years, when its level reaches a certain height, the flood- 
water flows by the Shelag Channel into the Gaud-i- 

Today the Helmand with its branches forms the delta, 
in which we find the cultivated area of modern Seistan. 
Outside it there is no water and no cultivation. 
McMahon discovered the existence of at least three 
deltaic areas, which have in turn constituted populated 
Seistan. Moreover he discovered that each of these 
deltas has been used time and again as the wayward 

1 This description is based on " Recent Survey and Exploration in Seistan ", by 
Colonel Sir Henry McMahon, Geographical Journal^ Sept. and Oct. 1906, and also on 
my own observations. 



Helmand changed its course. The population has per- 
force followed the river, on which its very existence 
depended, and it would appear that the Zarangiana, 
visited by Alexander the Great, covers the area now 
marked by the remains of Ramrod in the Tarakun area, 
where I noted ruins of important cities. It is also 
definitely established that Zaranj, the capital destroyed 
by Tamerlane, can be identified with the ruins of Zahidan 
in the present delta. Other and older sites abound. 
Chief among them are the ruins of Sarotar on the right 
bank of the Helmand, which extend for some sixty miles 
northwards in an unbroken line, proving the existence 
of a Seistan which was infinitely more prosperous and 
contained a much larger population than the 200,000 
inhabitants of today. 

In the Sarotar ruins Parthian and Sasanian coins are 
found with those of the Caliphs, To the west of the 
hamun rises the flat-topped Kuh-i-Khwaja, the only hill 
of the delta. On its southern slopes are the massive ruins 
of Kakhaha, a strongly fortified site, around which many 
legends connected with Rustam centre. Stein visited this 
ancient site in 1915, and discovered frescoes of the 
Sasanian period of great importance; one ofr them, as 
was befitting, represents Rustam holding his famous mace. 

A Historical Note. The delta of the Helmand, the 
classical Etymander, may be justly termed the birthplace 
of the legendary history of Persia. It was the home of 
Rustam, the champion of the ancient Keianian dynasty, 
whose exploits form the main theme of the Shahnama of 
Firdausi. To come to historical times, as we see in 
Chapter V, it was traversed in 330 B.C. by Alexander the 
Great, who termed it Zarangiana, after its inhabitants, 
who are termed Sarangi by Herodotus. 

Zaranj) the Capital. Continuing our brief survey: 
as the result of tribal movements in Central Asia during 
the middle of the second century B.C., described in 
Chapter VII, the Sakae, or Scythians, occupied the 
province until about A.D. 275, and in Sakastane, as they 
named it, we have Seistan. The Arabs conquered the 
province from the Sasanian dynasty in the middle of the 


seventh century, and for some centuries after this change 
of masters it remained prosperous and civilized. In the 
tenth century Yakubi describes the capital Zaranj as 
being four leagues in circumference. It was strongly 
fortified with an inner and an outer wall. The latter had 
thirteen gates opening across a great moat filled with 
water. Reference is also made to the riches and learn- 
ing of the inhabitants. In 1362 Timur, at that time a 
fugitive, raided the province at the head of 1000 horse- 
men, but was wounded in the foot and retreated, as 
narrated in Chapter XVII. 

Returning to Seistan in 1383, Tamerlane captured 
Zaranj, which offered a desperate resistance. The in- 
habitants were massacred or enslaved and Zahidan, as it 
is now termed, was left desolate. 

The present inhabitants of Seistan are mainly Baluchis, 
although a few members of the ancient Keiani are left, 
while the Saiads or fowlers who live along the edges of 
the hamun claim to be the original inhabitants. Probably 
by taking refuge in the reed-beds on their tutins or rafts 
they escaped the fury of the invaders. 

Nadir Shah invades Seistan. To resume our survey, 
Nadir Sh#h is believed to have captured Kakhaha after a 
siege of seven years. Upon the death of this, the last of 
the great conquerors of Asia, Seistan, in A.D. 1 747, formed 
part of the empire of Ahmad Khan. Afghan rule lasted 
for over a century, but, as mentioned in Chapter XXXVII, 
the allegiance of the outlying chiefs was more or less 

In the middle of the nineteenth century Ali Khan, 
Chief of the Sarbandi tribe, gave in his adherence to 
Persia and was rewarded by being granted a Persian 
bride of the royal family. 

The Shah's Appeal to the British Government. During 
the years 1861-1863 the Shah repeatedly called on the 
British Government to protect Seistan against alleged 
Afghan aggression, but was informed that, since the 
sovereignty of the Shah in that province was not recog- 
nized, it could not interfere. In 1863 ^ e Foreign Office, 
in reply to a final appeal, replied with some lack of 


suavity that " Her Majesty's Government being informed 
that the title to the territory of Seistan is disputed between 
Persia and Afghanistan, must decline to interfere in the 
matter, and must leave it to both parties to make good 
their possession by force of arms ". 

The Persian Government continued steadily to pursue 
its policy of increasing Persian authority and influence 
until Shir Ali, who had finally succeeded in establishing 
himself upon the throne at Kabul, threatened to declare 
war. Upon this, the British Government, in 1870, pro- 
posed arbitration under the Treaty of Paris which pro- 
vided that the Shah should " refer for adjustment to the 
friendly offices of England any differences that might 
occur between Persia and Herat or Afghanistan ". This 
proposal was duly accepted by the Persian Government. 

The Appointment of the British Mission. Major- 
General Sir Frederic Goldsmid had already constructed 
the telegraph line along the coasts of British and Persian 
Makran a great feat. Moreover, he had not only 
delimited but had secured the ratification of the Makran 
boundary. He was now appointed to arbitrate on Persian 
and Afghan claims in Seistan. The British Mission, 
which included Majors Beresford Lovett 'and Euan 
Smith, landed at Bandar Abbas and was joined in Seistan 
by General Pollock, the Commissioner of Peshawar, who 
represented Lord Mayo, and by the Afghan Commis- 
sioner, to whose appointment the Shah had raised strong 
objections. The Amir, on the other hand, had frankly 
accepted the British proposal for a peaceful settlement 
of the whole question by arbitration. 

The Persian Commissioner. The Shah's representa- 
tive was Masum Khan, who, acting in a similar position 
on the Makran Mission, had given infinite trouble. 
Upon arriving in Seistan, to quote Goldsmid: " Nothing 
too severe can be said as to his conduct from the moment 
in which he first came within the influence of the Amir of 
Kain, whose power terrified him, and whose constant 
bribes excited his intense cupidity ". x 

1 Eastern Persia, vol. i, p. 260. This valuable work was written by members of the 
British Commission. 


The Reception of the Mission in Seistan. The Mission 
reached Nasratabad (then termed Nasirabad) in February 
1872, and was met by an istikhbal or " Reception Party " 
sent out by the Amir of Kain. It was headed by two 
Sirdars whose men were " armed with every conceivable 
species of musket, rifle, spear, sword, shield, and known 
and unknown weapon of defence ". No one was sent by 
Mir Alum Khan to make the usual " health inquiries ", 
and other evidences of unfriendly feelings were not 
lacking. No camping-ground was arranged for, and the 
Mission was housed in some mud hovels, while the Com- 
missioner was not permitted to hoist his flag, as he had 
invariably done throughout the Makran Boundary Com- 
mission and while on the march to Seistan. 1 

The Tour of the Commissioners. In view of the delay 
of the Afghan Commissioner to appear on the scene, 
Goldsmid insisted on touring the province, and, leaving 
the wretched quarters " which so closely resembled an 
imprisonment ", he started oflf with the Persian Com- 
missioner who, through the Amir of Kain's representa- 
tive, was practically able to dictate the direction of the 
daily marches. They visited the big dam at Kuhak and 
then marahed up the Helmand to Bandar-i-Kamal Khan ; 
they also visited Nad Ali. Generally speaking, in spite 
of obstructiveness of every kind, information of the 
utmost value was secured, while Beresford Lovett was 
able to survey the districts that were visited. 

The Arrival of General Pollock and the Afghan Com- 
missioner. General Pollock and the Afghan Com- 
missioner, Sayyid Nur Muhammad, reached Seistan early 
in March and camped at Banjar, a few miles to the east 
of Nasratabad. The Afghan Commissioner declined to 
call first on the Persian Commissioner and the Amir of 
Kain, partly owing to the gross incivility which he and 
his followers had experienced. He also considered that his 
position was much superior to that of the Persian officials. 

1 When I founded the British Consulate in Seistan in 1899, and hoisted the British 
flag, I received threats, which I ignored, from both the Governor and the Chief Mulla. 
Sir Frederic Goldsmid was deeply interested to hear of my experiences that were so 
similar to his own. But, fortunately, I was provided with a small escort of Indian 


The Final Breach with the Persian Commissioner. 
Threatening letters referring to the suite of the Afghan 
Commissioner completed the breach with the Persian 
Commissioner, and Goldsmid, after consultation with 
Pollock, wrote to Masum Khan that, in view of the 
actions and behaviour of the Persian representatives, he 
had decided to leave Seistan and to make his report at 
Tehran. Summing up the position he wrote: " One 
inevitable conclusion forced upon the mind was that the 
Persian Government had most signally and culpably 
failed in the commonest courtesy, not taking even the 
most ordinary precautions to ensure that the dignity and 
safety of a Mission it had itself solicited, should be suit- 
ably upheld and regarded 'V It is a great pity that 
Goldsmid was not provided with an escort of Indian 

The Award. Goldsmid, in his arbitral award, divided 
the area into " Seistan Proper " and " Outer Seistan ". 
The first was bounded on the north and west by the 
hamun y and on the east by the main branch of the 
Helmand. " Outer Seistan " was the narrow district on 
the right bank of the Helmand which stretched from 
north to south for over one hundred miles. < " Seistan 
Proper " was awarded to Persia and " Outer Seistan " 
to Afghanistan. The decision was entirely just, as 
representing the actual situation. It granted Persia her 
reasonable claims, although she had to withdraw from 
positions taken up on the right bank of the Helmand. 
Amir Shir AH, on the other hand, who expected that 
he would have been specially favoured in the award, 
was much displeased, as we shall see in the next chapter. 
Both parties appealed to the British Government, by 
whom the decision of Goldsmid was confirmed. Much 
credit is due to this officer and to his staff, who, subjected 
to intolerable treatment by the Persians, carried through 
a most difficult task to a successful conclusion. 

1 Of. c/V, vol. i, p, 312. 



I have deputed my agent, Major-General Stolietoff, an officer high in the 
favour of the Emperor. He will inform you of all that is hidden in my mind. 
I hope that you will pay great attention to what he says, and believe him as you 
would myself. . . . The advantage of a close alliance with the Russian Govern- 
ment will be permanently evident. KAUFMANN to Shir Ali, June 1878. Part. 
Papers, 1881, xcviii (" Central Asia ", No. i). 

General Kaufmann s Correspondence with Shir Ali. 
By way of an introduction to this chapter, I will give 
some account of the correspondence of Kaufmann with 
the Amir. The opening letter of a series, which led to 
his overthrow, was dated April 1 1, 1870 and referred to 
the arrival at Tashkent of Abdur Rahman. In it Kauf- 
mann wrote that he had answered his request to be 
admitted to that city by stating that " the Emperor of 
Russia graciously affords hospitality to everybody . . . 
but that he must not in the least reckon on my interfer- 
ence in his quarrel with you ". He also stated that he 
was " quite far from longing to meddle in the internal 
affairs of Afghanistan ". Shir Ali was disturbed and 
perplexed as to the motive of the Russian Governor- 
General in writing to him. He forwarded the letter to the 
Viceroy who advised him to send a reply, thanking Kauf- 
mann for his assurances. This he did, adding that he had 
consulted the Viceroy in the matter. On December 20, 
Kaufmann wrote again, reciprocating his friendly senti- 
ments. These letters were, more or less, colourless but, 
two years later, Kaufmann wrote another letter referring 
to the boundaries of the state of Bukhara, which caused 
a sensation at Kabul. The Amir forwarded it to the 
Viceroy and drew attention to the Russian desire to 
establish " a regular and frequent correspondence with 
the Kabul Government ". He ended his letter with 

VOL. II 97 H 


an appeal to the British to bestow more serious attention 
to the maintenance of the boundaries of Afghanistan. 
Nevertheless, Kaufmann continued his correspondence 
while " positive assurances " were being given to the 
British Foreign Office that the " Imperial Cabinet con- 
tinues to consider Afghanistan as entirely beyond its 
sphere of action ". It is possible that the British Foreign 
Office, at this period, failed to realize that Russian 
Turkistan was administered by the practically inde- 
pendent Russian War Office. 

To continue this correspondence, in the winter of 
1 873 Kaufmann wrote to the Amir a long letter describing 
the fall of Khiva, and Shir Ali, replying in January 1874, 
congratulated the Governor-General upon his great 
military success; at the same time he wrote a separate 
letter in which he announced that Abdulla Jan had been 
nominated his heir-apparent. 

Kaufmann's next letter was dated several months 
later. In it he wrote that he had been absent in Russia 
and that he considered the recent alliance l between the 
Emperor of Russia and the Queen of England " would 
be an omen for the people of those countries which, under 
the protection of the Emperor of Russia and *he Oueen 
of England, live in great peace and comfort ". It is to 
be noted that the royal marriage is stated by the Russian 
Governor-General to constitute an alliance by which 
Afghanistan was protected by the two countries con- 
cerned. Such, at any rate, was the view of the Kabul 

During the period of this correspondence, the Amir 
was informed that the British Government in nowise 
shared or approved of his dissatisfaction at the increasing 
frequency and significance of these letters. 2 

The Mission of Sayyid Nur Muhammad, June 1873. 
After the conclusion of the Agreement with Russia 
respecting the northern boundaries of Afghanistan, and 
of the publication of the Seistan boundary award by 

1 The reference was to the marriage of the Duke of Edinburgh to the Grand Duchess 
Marie, daughter of the Tsar. 

2 Vide Lord Lytton's Indian Administration, by Lady Betty Balfour, 1899, passim. 
It is founded on the official documents of the period. 


General Goldsmid, given in the previous chapter, Sayyid 
Nur Muhammad, the representative of the Amir on 
that Commission, reached Simla as the envoy of the Amir 
to discuss these matters. 

He agreed that the settlement as to the northern 
frontier was, generally speaking, satisfactory to His 
Highness, but he realized that no definite frontier had 
been delimitated west of the great bend of the Oxus and 
that the frontier Chiefs would probably lend themselves 
to Russian intrigues. 

As to Goldsmid's award in Seistan, the Amir's dis- 
satisfaction was as strong as that of the Shah. It must 
be recollected that Nur Muhammad was the Afghan 
representative on the Boundary Commission, and having 
failed to gain territory at Persia's expense, would naturally 
attack the British award. What he wanted, was an award 
in favour of Afghanistan per fas aut nefas. 

But the Amir's chief concern was to know exactly 
where he stood with the British in connexion with the 
constant advance of Russia. Were they his allies and, if 
so, would they support him against Russian invasion by 
troops, by arms and by money? This was naturally the 
vital question for Shir Ali. 

Lord Northbrook's Proposed Guarantee to Shir Ali^ 
1873. Fully realizing the situation, on June 27 the 
Viceroy cabled to the Duke of Argyll, the Secretary of 
State for India: " We think it for interests of peace that 
Russia should know our relations with Afghanistan, and 
we say in paragraph 1 8 [of despatch summing up Central 
Asian correspondence with Russia] : * Although we 
have abstained from entering into any Treaty engage- 
ment to support the Amir by British troops in the event 
of Afghanistan being attacked from without, yet the 
complete independence of Afghanistan is so important 
to the interests of British India that the Government of 
India could not look upon an attack upon Afghanistan 
with indifference. So long as the Amir continues, as he 
has hitherto done, to act in accordance with our advice 
in his relations with his neighbours, he would naturally 
look for material assistance from us; and circumstances 


might occur under which we should consider it incumbent 
upon us to recommend Her Majesty's Government to 
render him such assistance.' I propose to inform Kabul 
Envoy of sense of this paragraph." 

The Reply of the Secretary of State for India. On 
July i Argyll replied that " he did not object to the 
general sense of the paragraph which you quote as a 
communication to Russia from the Foreign Office, but 
great caution is necessary in assuring Amir of material 
assistance which may raise undue and unfounded expecta- 
tion ". On July 20 Northbrook again cabled: " Amir 
of Kabul alarmed at Russian progress ; dissatisfied with 
general assurances, and anxious to know definitely how 
far he may rely on our help if invaded. I propose to 
assure him that if he unreservedly accepts and acts on 
our advice in all external relations, we will help him with 
money, arms and troops, if necessary to repel unprovoked 
invasion. We to be the judge of the necessity. Answer by 
telegraph quickly." 

Argyll's reply of July 24 ran: " Cabinet think that 
you should inform Amir that we do not at all share his 
alarm, and consider there is no cause for it. But you 
may assure him we shall maintain our settled cpolicy in 
Afghanistan, if he abides by our advice in external 

Shir Ali was at the parting of the ways. Had the 
statesmanlike policy of Northbrook been accepted, the 
Amir would have realized that we were ready to help him 
against an external attack. Once again the British 
Government had a golden opportunity of making 
Afghanistan a friendly state, but it was lost through 
lamentable lack of vision. Shir Ali perforce decided to 
turn to Russia. To confirm the accuracy of this view, I 
will quote Lord Roberts: " I had several interesting 
conversations with Yakub Khan, and in discussing with 
him Shir Ali's reasons for breaking with us, he dwelt on 
the fact that his father, although he did not get all he 
wished out of Lord Mayo, was firmly satisfied and con- 
tent with what had been done for him, but when Sayyid 
Nur Muhammad returned from Simla in 1873, ^ e 


became thoroughly disgusted, and at once made overtures 
to the Russians, with whom constant intercourse had 
since been kept up. 1 

The Nomination of Sirdar Abdulla Jan as Heir- 
Apparent. In November 1873 Shir Ali's favourite son 
Abdulla Jan was appointed heir-apparent. The Viceroy, 
the Shah, the Amir of Bukhara and General Kaufmann 
(as we have seen) were duly informed. The Shah, whose 
dignity was outraged by the latter being merely forwarded 
through the Persian Governor of Seistan, vouchsafed no 
reply to it. 

The Imprisonment of Takub Khan and the Flight of 
Ayub Khan. The nomination of Abdulla Jan was most 
unwelcome to Yakub. At first he appeared likely to 
rebel but funds were lacking and, after many pourparlers, 
he visited Kabul under a safe-conduct and was im- 
prisoned. Immediately after his eldest son's arrest, the 
Amir wrote to warn Ayub Khan to remain loyal. Reports 
reached Kabul which tended to show that Herat was 
being prepared for a siege and that Persian support was 
probable. However, in the event, the rebellion collapsed 
and Ayub fled across the Persian border. The Viceroy 
attempted to effect a reconciliation between the Amir 
and Yakub Khan but, without success. Indeed Shir AH 
resented his letter. 

Lord Salisbury orders the Appointment of a British 
Officer to Herat) 1875-1 8 76.* On January 2, 1875, 
Salisbury wrote to Disraeli: " I am getting uneasy as to 
our lack of information from Afghanistan. Almost all we 
hear of what happens on the Western frontier comes 
from St. Petersburg or from Tehran. . . . We have only 
a native agent [at Kabul] who writes exactly what the 
Amir tells him." 3 

Northbrook considered this proposal, when it was 
made officially, but held it to be inopportune to press 
the Amir on the subject. Salisbury, however, repeated 

1 Forty-one Tears in India, vol. ii, p. 247. 

2 In 1874 a Conservative Government came into power under Disraeli and, for four 
years, Lord Salisbury was Secretary of State for India. He then became Foreign 

3 Life of Robert, Marquis of Salisbury , by Lady Gwendolen Cecil, vol. ii, p. 71. 


his instructions, and Northbrook in his reply stated that, 
if the Amir were asked to allow a British Resident at 
Herat, he would certainly once again raise the question 
whether the British Government would unconditionally 
promise to protect Afghanistan against external attack. 
Northbrook also pointed out that, even if an Agent were 
accepted, he wpuld be surrounded by spies under the 
pretext of guarding him and that persons visiting him 
would be watched and removed. 1 Shortly afterwards, 
nominally for personal reasons, Northbrook resigned. 
The last words he addressed to Salisbury ran: " By 
taking the initiative, I feel certain that you are throwing 
away your best card, and running the risk of embarrass- 
ment for the future, both political and financial ". 2 

Disraeli' s Policy in Asia. To give some idea of the 
policy of the Conservative Cabinet, I quote from a letter 
written by the Prime Minister to Queen Victoria, dated 
June 22, 1877. It described the measures that were 
proposed to be taken in Asia against Russia, in case she 
seized Constantinople and war were declared against 
her. It runs: " It is Lord Beaconsfield's present opinion 
that in such a case Russia must be attacked from Asia, 
that? troops should be sent to the Persian Gulff and that 
the Empress of India should order her armies to clear 
Central Asia of the Muscovites, and drive them into the 
Caspian. We have a good instrument for this purpose 
in Lord Lytton, and indeed he was placed there with 
that view." 3 From a military point of view the opera- 
tions indicated in this letter were fantastical. 

Lord Lytton and the Amir. In April 1876 Lord 
Lytton, as the successor of Northbrook, took over his 
high office as Viceroy and immediately, in accordance 
with his instructions, turned his attention to the improve- 
ment of British relations with Afghanistan. His first 
step was to instruct General Pollock, the Commissioner 
of Peshawar, to inform the Amir that it was proposed to 

1 When I was Consul-General in Khurasan in 1908, the Herat Agent was practically 
treated in this manner and no one dared to visit him. 

2 Thomas George Earl of Northbrook^ by Bernard Mallet, 1908, p. 105. 

3 Life of Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfeld^ by Monypenny and Buckle, vol. vi, 
p. 155. 


send a Mission to His Highness, to announce his own 
accession to the office of Viceroy and the assumption by 
the Queen of the title of Empress of India. 1 This demand 
caused Shir Ali considerable apprehension. He con- 
sidered that the British were alarmed by the Russian 
advance towards Merv and therefore wished to obtain 
his consent for the establishment of a British Mission 
at Herat. If he accepted, he feared that he would be 
accused of taking a step hostile to Russia. He also feared 
that the reception of a British envoy might lead to a 
Russian envoy suddenly entering Afghanistan. Finally 
he feared for the safety of the Mission in fanatical Kabul 
and not without good reason. Consequently, in his 
reply of May 22, he suggested that all questions affecting 
the two countries had been discussed in 1873 w ^h his 
envoy and that, if necessary, a similar procedure should 
be adopted in the present case. 

In July, Lytton, who was irritated at what was, in 
effect, a polite refusal to his proposal, wrote a second 
letter to Shir Ali, repeating his wishes and assuring him 
that he had been actuated by a cordial desire for closer 
relations. He added: " It will for this reason cause the 
Viceroy sincere regret if Your Highness, by hastily 
rejecting the hand of friendship now frankly held out to 
you, should render nugatory the friendly intentions of 
His Excellency, and oblige him to regard Afghanistan 
as a state which has voluntarily isolated itself from the 
alliance and support of the British Government." 

He continued that, with reference to the apprehension 
that had been expressed for the safety of the British 
envoy at Kabul, he was prepared to send his representa- 
tive to any other place that the Amir might choose; that 
the fear that the reception of a British Mission might 
lead to a Russian Mission was groundless, since the 
Government of the Tsar had given assurances to the British 
Government that it would not interfere, directly or 
indirectly, in the affairs of Afghanistan; and, finally, 

1 I have consulted The Indian Administration of Lord Lytton^ by Lady Betty Balfour, 
which is founded, so far as Afghanistan is concerned, on despatches and other State 


he declared that if the reception of his envoy, as he 
hoped, led to a more cordial understanding, he would 
be happy to meet the Amir at Peshawar in the autumn. 

Three experienced Members of his Council, to wit 
Sir William Muir, Sir Henry Norman and Sir Arthur 
Hobhouse, dissented from the views of Lord Lytton and 
the majority of their colleagues. They considered that 
Shir Ali was justified in declining to receive a British 
Mission and that the Viceroy's letter was almost equi- 
valent to a threat of war. 

There is no question as to the threat contained in 
Lytton 's letter. He was aware of the refusal of the 
Gladstone Cabinet to accept the statesmanlike proposals 
of Northbrook in 1873 anc ^ would surely have been 
better advised to have informed Shir Ali that the British 
Government had definitely decided to defend him against 
external aggression with troops, arms and money. Such 
a statement conveyed in a cordial letter would almost 
certainly have created a friendly atmosphere and would 
have made Shir Ali our staunch friend and ally. Further- 
more it would have saved Afghanistan from the horrors 
of a second war within little more than a generation after 
the first, and Great Britain from a vast expenditure of 
life and treasure. 

The Mission of Nawab Atta Muhammad Khan. The 
Amir, in his reply, avoided all references to the proposed 
Mission and held to his opinion that he should send his 
envoy to India. This proposal was accepted faute de 
mieux, and in October 1876 Nawab Atta Muhammad 
Khan reached Peshawar. In the course of more thah 
one interview with Sir Lewis Pelly, the Commissioner of 
Peshawar, it appeared that the Amir's aloof attitude was 
mainly due to the failure to secure promise of support 
against external aggression by Sayyid Nur Muhammad in 
1873; to ^ e Seistan award ; to the intervention of North- 
brook on behalf of Yakub Khan; and to the general 
impression of the Amir that British policy was purely 
selfish and neglectful of the interests of Afghanistan. The 
envoy laid special stress on the desire shown by the 
Amir in 1873 to en ter into an offensive and defensive 


alliance with Great Britain, and his deep disappointment 
at the refusal of the British to accept his wishes. 

The Reply of Lord Lytton. The Viceroy stated that 
he was willing to enter into the alliance as suggested; 
that, in the event of unprovoked external aggression, 
assistance would be afforded to the Amir in men, money 
and arms; that Abdulla Jan would be recognized as 
heir-apparent to the Amir and that a yearly subsidy 
would be granted. Lytton, however, laid down that the 
conditions attached to these concessions were that the 
Amir held no external relations with Russia, referring 
the agents of that Power to the British; that British 
agents should reside at Herat, or elsewhere on the frontier; 
that a mixed Anglo-Afghan Commission should demar- 
cate the Amir's frontier; and finally, that the establish- 
ment of a permanent envoy at Kabul would be waived, on 
condition that the Amir deputed a permanent envoy to 
India and agreed to receive special missions whenever 

The Viceroy, unfortunately as it proved, clearly 
explained that unless the Amir gave his consent to the 
establishment of a British agent on the frontier, as a 
basis of negotiation, the above offers were cancelled. 
Experienced Pelly regretted this conditional stipulation, 
but Lytton insisted upon it. As a result the negotiations 
which lasted from October 1876 to March 1877 ended 
in failure. 

The Treaty with Kalat. The history of Kalat, when it 
formed part of the empire of Ahmad Shah and again 
during the course of the First Afghan War, has been 
dealt with in previous chapters of this work. In 1875 
Captain Robert Sandeman, destined to rank among the 
greatest of British frontier officers, was deputed by North- 
brook to examine and report on the relations of the Khan 
with his Sirdars^ which were causing unrest and serious 
raiding. Sandeman reported that the Chiefs would 
welcome British mediation, that they were willing to 
become peaceful subjects of the Khan if their grievances 
were righted, and that he had induced them to make 
their submission to the Khan on these conditions. 


Northbrook, realizing the importance of following up 
this opening, despatched Sandeman on a second mission 
in April 1876. Upon Lytton taking over the Viceroyalty, 
somewhat different instructions were sent to Sandeman, 
but the latter, on June 16, telegraphed the terms of a 
settlement which was proposed by the Khan and accepted 
by the Sirdars. Finally, on December 8, the Treaty 
of Jacobabad was executed. The Viceroy received the 
Khan and the Sirdars at a public durbar and general 
rejoicings celebrated the happy conclusion of Sandeman's 
mission. By the terms of the treaty, Quetta became an 
important British cantonment, while the Bolan Pass for 
the first time became safe for the passage of caravans, 
without payment of blackmail. It must, however, be 
mentioned that the occupation of Quetta was naturally 
viewed with dislike and suspicion by Shir AH and his 

The Position in Europe. In 1875 a rebellion in 
Bosnia and Herzegovina led two years later to the Russo- 
Turkish War. Disraeli's policy was, as we have seen, 
strongly anti-Russian, so much so that war with Russia 
appeared to be a probability. 

The Mission of General Stolietoff to Kabul, Juty 1878. 
The bitter hostility existing in Europe between the two 
erstwhile friendly Powers, induced Kaufmann, without 
any instructions from the Russian Government, to 
announce to the Amir the despatch of an envoy to 
Kabul, in the letter which serves as a motto to this chapter. 
On June 1 8 the day on which the Congress of Berlin 
held its first sitting Stolietoff left Tashkent for the 
Afghan capital. To support his envoy, Kaufmann also 
despatched three columns of Russian troops towards 
various points on the Afghan frontier. The Amir was 
embarrassed by the appearance of the Mission, and was 
reluctant to receive it, 1 but treated it with honour upon 
its entry into Kabul. 

On the day before his arrival at the capital, it appears 
that Stolietoff received a letter from Kaufmann informing 

1 In Argyll's Autobiography and Memoirs, vol. ii, p. 330, we read: " The Amir was 
very reluctant to receive it, and was only bullied into it *'. 


him of the signature of the Treaty of Berlin and instruct- 
ing him to refrain from making any definite arrange- 
ments with the Amir. Stolietoff, however, realizing the 
almost independent position of the Governor-General, 
produced a draft of a treaty with Russia offering assist- 
ance to the Amir against an external enemy and recogni- 
tion of Abdulla Jan as heir-apparent. 

The exact terms of the treaty are perhaps doubtful l 
but, on August 23, the Amir wrote to Kaufmann that 
Stolietoff had written down his wishes to strengthen 
friendly relations between Russia and would shortly 
return with his reply. 2 This letter proved the case against 
the Amir. 

The Assurance of M. de Giers. It is of considerable 
importance to note that, on July 2, 1878, Lord Loftus 
inquired of M. de Giers whether any Russian official 
had been instructed by St. Petersburg or by Kaufmann 
to proceed on a mission to Kabul. De Giers, in his reply, 
categorically denied that any Mission had been sent or 
was intended to be sent to Kabul either by the Imperial 
Government or by Kaufmann. 3 De Giers was probably 
being deceived by the Russian War Office, since his 
character would be seriously affected by his denying facts 
that were soon known to the world. 

The Despatch of a British Mission to Kabul. The 
appearance of a Russian Mission at Kabul caused a 
crisis. The British Government agreed that it should 
be met by insisting that the Amir should receive a Mission 
under General Sir Neville Chamberlain. The letter to 
thfe Amir, containing this announcement, reached Kabul 
on August 1 7, the date of the death of the heir-apparent. 
The Amir asked for delay on this account, but, as noted 
above, he continued his correspondence with Kaufmann. 

1 In Forty-one Tears in India, Appendix V, Lord Roberts gives this treaty as written 
from memory by Mirxa Muhammad Nabi. Article 3 ran: " The Russian Government 
engages that if any foreign enemy attacks Afghanistan and the Amir is unable to drive 
him out, and asks for the assistance of the Russian Government, the Russian Government 
will repel the enemy either by means of advice or by such other means as it may consider 
proper ". 

2 Part. Papers, 1881, xcviii (" Central Asia ", No. i), p. 350. 

3 Loftus to Salisbury, July 3, 1878, Parl. Papers, 1878, Ixxx ("Central Asia", 
No. i), p. 132. 


The Intervention of Lord Salisbury. Since no reply 
was received from Kabul, on September 8, Lytton pro- 
posed the immediate despatch of Chamberlain with an 
escort of 1000 men to Kabul. Three days later Salisbury 
requested Cranbrook, the Secretary of State for India, 
to await the receipt of a letter from de Giers which was 
on its way to London. But when Cranbrook's instruc- 
tions in this sense reached India, frontier officers were 
already arranging with Khaibar tribesmen for the passage 
of the Mission and Lytton was assured that postpone- 
ment of the Mission would incur the contempt of the 
tribesmen. He therefore allowed another week for the 
receipt of de Giers' letter and, failing this, on Sep- 
tember 20, without any further reference to London, 
ordered Chamberlain to advance. 

Sir Neville Chamberlain s Mission stored by Afghan 
Troops. The Mission was, however, met by a strong 
hostile force at Ak Masjid, and it perforce returned to 
Peshawar, fortunate to escape being cut up. 

The Decision of the British Cabinet. Towards the end 
of October there were stormy meetings of the Cabinet. 
Lytton 's policy was attacked by Salisbury, who feared 
that trouble with Russia over Afghan matters might 
seriously hinder the execution of the Treaty of Berlin. 
Cranbrook, however, strongly supported the Viceroy, 
whose views finally prevailed. 

The Despatch of an Ultimatum to Shir AH. Accord- 
ingly, on November 2, an ultimatum was despatched to 
Kabul, which allowed until November 20 for a reply. 
Shir Ali naturally turned to Kaufmann, who gave him fro 
assistance whatever and suggested that he should make 
terms with the British. 

It is difficult not to sympathize with Shir Ali at this 
juncture. The mission of Stolietoff was a Russian riposte 
to the despatch by Disraeli of Indian troops to Malta. To 
quote Argyll: " We had ourselves placed the Amir in a 
position of extreme difficulty and had reason to believe 
and to know that he was not in any way party to the 
Russian policy in sending it." x Surely, under these 

1 Op. cit. vol. ii, p. 330. 


conditions and, bearing in mind the bitter grief of the 
Amir at the sudden death of his favourite son, more 
patience and more tact should have been displayed by 
the Viceroy. 

Lord Salisbury's Letter. By way of conclusion to this 
chapter, I will quote a remarkable letter of Salisbury: 
" As for the embassy to Kabul, it appears to have been 
self-generated. Schouvaloff had heard nothing of it the 
whole time he was at Berlin nor during the three 
weeks he afterwards spent at St. Petersburg. Only when 
he went to Wilbad he saw it in the newspapers. He 
immediately rushed to Gortchakoff and asked, * Has 
there been any Mission to Kabul?'. Gortchakoff putting 
his hand on his brow and reflecting : ' Non, je ne le 
crois pas V I 

1 To Lord Odo Russell, Nov. 27, 1878. 



The Emperor considers you as a brother, and you also, who are beyond 
the Oxus must display the same sense of friendship and brotherhood. . . . The 
Emperor's desire is that you should not admit the English into your country, 
and, like last year, treat them with deceit and deception until the present cold 
season passes away; then the will of the Almighty will be manifest to you 
that is to say, the Russian Government will come to your assistance. The 
Letter of GENERAL STOLIETOFF to the Vizier of Shir Ali, dated October 8, 1878. 

And yet when I think of Shir Ali as he lies in his sepulchre low, 

How he died betrayed, heart-broken, 'twixt infidel friend and foe, 

Driven from his throne by the English, and scorned by the Russian, his guest, 

I am well content with the vengeance, and I see God works for the best. 

SIR ALFRED LYALL, The Amir's Soliloquy. 

Three British Columns invade Afghanistan. No answer 
to the ultimatum of the Viceroy was received from Kabul 
owing, as it was subsequently proved, to delay in trans- 
mission. Accordingly, upon the expiration o/ the time 
limit, three columns, whose objectives were Kandahar, 
Kabul by the Kurram Valley and also by the Khaibar 
route under Sir Donald Stewart, Sir Frederick Roberts 
and Sir Sam Browne respectively, marched across the 
frontiers of Afghanistan. 1 

Sir Donald Stewart advanced on Kandahar from the 
Indus, with Sir Michael Biddulph leading the advaace 
force 6000 strong from Quetta, which was followed by a 
slightly stronger main body. In 1878 the railway had 
only reached the Indus, and the troops, as in the First 
Afghan War, had the very trying march across the desert 
of Kach Gandava and up the Bolan Pass. But the State of 
Kalat (which included the Bolan Pass) was now under 
British control, while Quetta was a relatively well-supplied 

1 Among the authorities consulted, the most important is The Second Afghan War, 
1878-80 (abridged official account), 1908; also Forty-one Tears in India, by Lord 
Roberts; Lord Lytton's Indian Administration, by Lady Betty Balfourj and Sir Mortimer 
Durand, by Sykes. 




centre. There was no opposition to this column which 
occupied Kandahar on January 8, 1879. 

The March up the Kurram Valley. Roberts, whose 
transport service had been collected haphazard there 
was no organized transport service in the Indian army at 
that period was very anxious about its deficiencies. 
He also was aware that the mullas were tampering with 
the Moslem sepoys, who did not relish taking part in 
a war against the Amir. Accordingly, upon hearing 
that the Afghans were holding the Peiwar Kotal in 
great strength, he applied for reinforcements, which 
were somewhat reluctantly granted. The fact that the 
Turis of the Kurram were Shias guaranteed their loyal 
support, more especially as Roberts was authorized 
to promise them that the British occupation would be 

The Battle of the Peiwar Kotal^ December 2, 1878. 
The Afghan troops who had retreated up the valley took 
up a strong position on the pine-clad pass. A main 
frontal attack was ruled out by the rugged nature of the 
ground and by the necessity of advancing in single file. 
The mountains on the enemy right also forbade an 
attack. Most fortunately a track leading to the Afghan 
left flank was discovered, and it was determined to send 
a body of troops in that direction, while a frontal attack 
would also be made to occupy the enemy. While the 
flanking body was stumbling up the valley with constant 
crossing of streams, two shots were fired by Pathans of 
one of the regiments which was leading the column. 
Roberts, who was with the flanking column, immediately 
ordered one company of the 72nd Highlanders and one 
company of the 5th Gurkhas to the front, who, on 
reaching the foot of the Spingawi Pass at the false dawn, 
were fired on by the enemy and charged, supported by 
two guns of the mountain battery. The enemy holding 
this part of the position were surprised and fled. Roberts 
writes: " Its approaches were commanded by precipitous 
heights, and defended by breastworks of felled trees, 
which completely screened the defenders. . . . Had we 
not been able to surprise the enemy before the day 


dawned, I doubt whether any of us could have reached 
the first entrenchment." l 

The main body on the Peiwar Kotal was still holding 
its position but, at first, part of the flanking column lost 
its way and the situation became serious. Roberts also 
learned that the frontal attack on the Peiwar Kotal had 
been repulsed with somewhat heavy losses. 

By a happy chance a route was discovered for a 
further turning movement, which threatened the Afghan 
rear. This caused their artillery fire to slacken, while 
their infantry broke and fled from the main position 
and the battle was won. Actually, owing to the exhaustion 
of the troops, the Afghan position was not occupied until 
the following morning when its impregnability against a 
frontal attack was evident. Roberts and his splendid 
troops deserve immense credit for the victory at the 
Peiwar KotaL 

After halting for a few days to rest the force and to 
allow supplies and tents to be brought up, Roberts 
marched along the Kabul road to Ali Khel. From this 
camp he visited the Shutargardan Pass which rises to an 
elevation of 1 1,000 feet, and obtained a splendid view of 
the Logar Valley and beyond. r 

The Khaibar Column. Sir Sam Browne advanced up 
the Khaibar Pass at the head of a powerful column of 
16,000 men. Following the example of Pollock, he 
detached a strong force by the tracks over the hills to the 
north to outflank the Afghan position. At noon the main 
body came under the fire of the artillery at Ak Masjid 
and, unsupported by his detached force, which had been 
delayed, he did not involve himself in a frontal attack. 
On resuming his advance in the morning, the fort was 
found to be empty, the Afghans having disappeared 
during the night. Browne then advanced to Jalalabad 
without further opposition, although constant attacks 
were made on his convoys by the predatory tribesmen. 

The Flight and Death of Shir Ali. Upon the news of 
the Peiwar Kotal victory reaching Kabul, the Amir was 
deserted by many of his leading Sirdars^ while his soldiers 

1 Forty-one Tears in India^ vol. ii, p. 141. 


returned to their homes. He released Yakub from prison 
and appointed him Regent. Then, hoping for the promised 
Russian support, and leaving a letter addressed to the 
British in which he stated that he had decided to lay the 
whole question before the Tsar, he fled northwards to 

Treacherous Kaufmann, in response to the Amir's 
frantic appeals, merely advised him to endeavour to make 
peace with the British. He refused to send any troops 
to his support and would not permit the unfortunate 
Amir to visit St. Petersburg. On February 21, 1879, 
worn out with illness and the knowledge that he had 
been betrayed by Russia, Shir Ali died at Mazar-i-Sharif. 

The Position of Yakub Khan. Lytton wrote to the 
new Amir proposing that he should receive a mission at 
Kabul. Yakub took council with the Afghan officers 
who had accompanied Shir Ali in his flight as to his 
policy, and they advised him to abandon the British and 
trust to Russia. Hearing this, the British Agent, who 
was the bearer of Lytton's and Major Cavagnari's letters, 
fearing for the safety of a British mission at Kabul, 
suggested that Yakub should, instead, visit the British 
camp, which had now advanced to Gandamak. This 
was agreed to and the Amir proceeded to Gandamak 
where he appeared with his Commander-in-Chief, both 
of them somewhat tactlessly wearing Russian uniforms. 

Yakub did not create a favourable impression. 
Durand, 1 who saw a good deal of him shortly afterwards, 
summed him up: " He is by no means the fine young 
soldier I used to imagine him; a weak vacillating face, 
pleasant enough at times, but not trustworthy or in any 
way impressive. The type is strongly Jewish." 

Before the meeting, a proclamation, addressed by 
Yakub to a tribe which had been giving the British 
trouble, was intercepted. In it he exhorted the tribesmen 
to have no fear of the infidels, against whom he was 
organizing an irresistible force of Ghazis. The pro- 
clamation terminated with the verse from the Koran: 
" Verily Allah has destroyed the powerful ones ". 

1 Sykes, Sir Mortimer Durand, p. 94. 


The Treaty of Gandamak^ May 26, 1879. Cavag- 
nari disregarded this treacherous behaviour of Yakub 
and negotiated with him the Treaty of Gandamak. 1 By 
its terms Great Britain definitely agreed to protect 
Afghanistan against external attack, while it was stipu- 
lated that there were to be no direct communications by 
that country with other Powers. The Amir was granted 
an annual subsidy of 6 lakhs of rupees. To continue: 
the British Government restored to the Amir Kandahar 
and Jalalabad, which towns were in the possession of 
British troops, but, with the agreement of His Highness, 
" the districts of Kurram and Pishin and Sibi . . . shall be 
treated as assigned districts. . . , 2 The British Govern- 
ment will retain in its own hands the control of the 
Khaibar and Michni Passes . . . and of all relations with 
the independent tribes of the territory connected with 
these Passes. " 

By the Treaty of Gandamak the position of Quetta and 
its lines of communication with India were assured owing 
to the occupation of Pishin and Sibi. The occupation 
of the Kurram Valley, apart from its strategical import- 
ance, was partly due to its inhabitants, who, as Shia 
Moslems, were perpetually raided by their fanatical 
neighbours and were thus loyal to the British, to whom 
they had appealed for protection. Finally, the arrange- 
ment about the passes strengthened the British control 
over the restless Afridis. 

Sir Louis Cavagnari reaches Kabul as British Envoy, 
July 24, 1879. ^ was agreed by the Amir to receive a 
British mission at Kabul. Sir Louis Cavagnari, as <he 
had been gazetted, was appointed envoy with a staff of 
three British officers and an escort of the Guides. He 
was received by various officials, and riding on an 
elephant entered Kabul with salutes of guns and of the 
garrison ; he took up his residence in the Bala Hissar. 

On August 30 Cavagnari wrote that, upon the whole, 
the position was satisfactory, but he reported that six 

1 Par!. Papers, 1878-1879, Ivi, 691. 

2 In " assigned districts " the revenue was utilized for the expenses of administration, 
and the balance was due to be paid to the Amir. 


regiments from Herat, who had arrived early in August, 
had displayed mutinous tendencies and that a fracas had 
taken place between the Afghan troops and some men of 
his escort. On September 2 he telegraphed, " All well ". 
On September 3 three of the six regiments asked for 
their pay. They were offered one month's pay but 
refused to take less than three months'. The troops then 
mutinied and, marching to the Residency, asked Cavag- 
nari to pay them. Apparently he declined to intervene, 
and their fanaticism having been excited by the mullas^ 
they attacked the Residency. The resistance, if hopeless, 
was most determined, repeated sallies being made, but 
finally the gallant band was massacred and the Residency 
was burned. 1 The mission had been in Kabul only six 
weeks and five days when the tragedy occurred. 

Apart from the loss of valuable British lives, the blow 
to British prestige and the collapse of the policy of 
securing a scientific frontier for the security of India 
made the situation extremely serious. To quote Lytton's 
letter to Beaconsfield: " The web of policy so carefully 
and patiently woven has been rudely shattered. We have 
now to weave a fresh and, I fear, a wider one from 
undoubtedly weaker materials/' 2 

The Kabul Field Force. Of the three British forces 
Sir Sam Browne's had been broken up, while Sir Donald 
Stewart was in the neighbourhood of Kandahar, where 
only a small body of troops was stationed. The Kurram 
force alone was in a position to advance rapidly on Kabul, 
Roberts was therefore appointed to command the Kabul 
Field Force, as it was called, with instructions to march 
on the capital with all possible expedition. It included 
two infantry brigades, a cavalry brigade and artillery, 
with horse, field and mountain batteries. The force 
totalled 7500 men and 22 guns.. 

The question of transport and the extent of the lines 
of communication, which would have to be protected, 
were all causes of anxiety, but of far graver import was 
the necessity to cut adrift from the Kurram line of com- 

1 For Abdur Rahman's views on the tragedy <vide his o/>. V. vol. i, p. 152. 
z Dated September 4. Vide op. cit. pp, 358-359. 


munication which would be closed in mid-winter, and to 
rely on the Khaibar route being opened by the time 
Kabul was taken.- Roberts, on reaching the camp, writes 
that he was delighted with the spirit of the force, which 
was burning to avenge the massacre of their comrades. 

The Attitude of Takub towards the Massacre. Upon 
his arrival at Ali Khel, two letters written by Yakub on 
September 3 and September 4 were handed to Roberts 
by the political agent. According to them, " the troops 
who had assembled for their pay suddenly broke out and 
stoned their officers and then all rushed to the Residency 
and stoned it, receiving in return a hail of bullets. . . . 
People from Sherpur and the country around and city 
people of all classes poured into the Bala Hissar and 
began destroying workshops, artillery park and magazine, 
and all the troops and people attacked the Residency." 

The question of the Amir's complicity in the tragedy 
was subsequently considered, with the result that it was 
found that the massacre was not instigated by him, but 
that although he must be acquitted of complicity in the 
outrage, he could, by acting promptly, have prevented it. 
It is curious how this massacre resembled that of Burnes 
a generation earlier. In each case quick, decided action 
by the Amir would have been effective. 

Roberts writes to the Amir. Under instructions from 
Lytton, Roberts wrote to Yakub that, in view of the 
murder of Cavagnari, his staff and his escort by Afghan 
troops and in view of the Amir's inability to establish 
his authority, a British army would advance on Kabul 
with the double object of strengthening his Government 
and of exacting retribution from the murderers of the 
British Mission. Roberts added that since the British 
Government had been informed of the despatch of 
emissaries from Kabul to raise the tribes against him, he 
desired His Highness to send a confidential agent to 
confer with him. 

The Policy of the Vizier and the Finance Minister. 
Two Ministers accordingly reached the camp who, after 
giving many assurances of the friendship of Yakub for 
the British, evidently, in accordance with the Amir's 


instructions, attempted by every means " to stop the 
advance of the force long enough for the whole country 
to rise and attack us ", as Roberts put it. Neither of 
these envoys wished to remain, so they were dismissed. 

The Advance on Kabul and the Arrival in Camp of the 
Amir. As soon as supplies had been collected, Roberts 
resumed his march to Kabul. After crossing the 
Shuturgardan Pass, to his embarrassment he was met at 
Kushi by the Amir with a large following. Yakub him- 
self now urged on Roberts the advisability of delay, but 
realizing that the Amir's wish was to gain time for the 
assembly of a strong force, Roberts marched steadily 
northwards. At this period General Bright was advancing 
up the Khaibar with a force of 16,000 men, while Sir 
Donald Stewart, having reoccupied Kandahar and Kalat- 
i-Ghilzai, was threatening Ghazni. 

The Battle of Charasia. Sirdar Nek Muhammad, an 
uncle of the Amir, at this period rode out to the camp 
and held a secret conference with the Amir, after which, 
having ascertained the exact strength of the British, he 
hastened back to Kabul, obviously to organize the Afghan 

On Ottober 6 reconnoitring parties reported that the 
range between Kabul and Charasia was being occupied 
by Afghan troops, while parties of Ghilzais appeared on 
the hills running along both flanks of the camp. Roberts 
possessed only enough transport for half his force, and 
Macpherson's brigade on this account remained a march 
in rear. Realizing the necessity of immediate action, 
Roberts ordered General (later Sir Thomas) Baker to 
attack the right of the position, which was carried by 
Major White l and the 92nd Highlanders, who captured 
twenty Afghan guns. Baker also, by a turning movement 
to the left, drove the enemy from the field in this area 
with very heavy losses. Nek Muhammad, the leader of 
the force, had his horse shot under him but escaped. 
Again Roberts, by his determination to attack without 
waiting for the arrival of the whole of his force, won a 
complete victory. His casualties were negligible. 

1 Later Field-Marshal Sir George White. 


Roberts enters Kabul on October 12. The British force 
arrived before Kabul on October 8. Darkness prevented 
an immediate attack but, during the night, the enemy 
fled, leaving all their artillery, consisting of 150 guns, 
behind them. 

The Abdication of Takub Khan. On October 12 the 
victorious general made his public entry into the city, 
and Yakub Khan, accompanied by only two followers, 
walked to the camp and abdicated. He said that his life 
had been a miserable one; that he would rather be a 
grass-cutter in the English camp than Amir of Afghan- 
istan. He begged for permission to live in the camp 
until he could be sent to India. 

The Proclamation of Roberts. On October 28 the 
victor issued a proclamation by the terms of which he 
referred to the voluntary abdication of Yakub as having 
left Afghanistan without a Government, and stated " that 
the British Government, after consultation with the 
principal Sirdars^ tribal chiefs, and others representing 
the interests and wishes of the various provinces and cities, 
will declare its will as to the permanent arrangements to 
be made for the good government of the people 'V 

The Reverse in the Chardeh Valley. Roberts decided 
to occupy a fortified cantonment at Sherpur, which Shir 
Ali had partially constructed. It was strengthened in 
every possible way, while troops were despatched to the 
villages in the neighbourhood to procure supplies and 
firewood. Reconnoitring parties were also continually on 
the move. One of these, consisting of horse artillery and 
cavalry, was attacked by overwhelming numbers in the 
Chardeh Valley. The ground was cut up by deep irriga- 
tion channels impassable for the guns, which were tem- 
porarily abandoned. A disaster was only averted by the 
timely arrival of the 72nd Highlanders. 

The Assault on the Sherpur Cantonment. It was soon 
evident that overwhelming Afghan forces had assembled 
and Roberts decided to evacuate the Bala Hissar together 
with the city, and collected his force into the well-supplied 
cantonment. This retirement made a combined assault 

1 Vide Roberts, op. cit. vol. ii, p. 249. 


by the assembled Afghans inevitable, and, at dawn on 
December 23, roused to religious fervour by a religious 
festival, they advanced in dense masses. Although faced 
by rifle and artillery the heroic tribesmen made attack 
after attack, only to suffer heavy losses. After the failure 
of these assaults a sortie by British cavalry and artillery 
completed their discomfiture. The Afghans, who can 
only carry food for a few days, had played into the hands 
of Roberts. They were beaten and speedily dispersed. 
Reinforcements strengthened his military position, but 
the political future of Afghanistan remained obscure. 
Who was to rule as Amir and would he rule over a dis- 
integrated or a united country? The answer to this 
difficult problem was the reappearance of Sirdar Abdur 
Rahman in Afghan Turkistan. 



To Allah alone are the gates of the hidden mysteries open; no man can 
know what is to happen in the future except Allah, the All-Knowing. The 

Thus is my banishment ended; it's twelve long years, well nigh, 

Since I fought the last of my lost fights, and saw my best men die; 

They hunted me over the passes, and up to the Oxus stream, 

We had just touched land on the far side as we saw their spearheads gleam. 

Then came the dolorous exile, the life in a conquered land, 

Where the Frank had trodden on Islam; the alms at a stranger's hand; 

While here in the fort of my fathers, my bitterest foe held sway; 

He was ten years building his Kingdom, it all fell down in a day. 


The Early Tears of Abdur Rahman. Abdur Rahman, 
" the Slave of the Merciful," destined to rank as the 
great Amir, who welded the loose congeries of turbulent 
tribes into a nation and ruled with a rod of steel over a 
united Afghanistan, had a chequered career, which is 
well worth narrating, if only as demonstrating how his 
character was strengthened by constant changes of 
fortune, and hardened on the anvil of adversity. 1 

He was, as mentioned in Chapter XXXIV, the son 
of Sirdar Afzal Khan who, by the death of two elder 
brothers, became the eldest son of Dost Muhammacl. 
His mother was the daughter of Nawab Samand Khan, 
a leading Sirdar^ and was a descendant of Shah Tahmasp. 

Abdur Rahman was born in 1844 and, for the first 
nine years of his life, resided at Kabul. He then joined 
his father, who was Governor of Afghan Turkistan. 
There he lived for ten years, during which period his 

1 In this section I have consulted The Life of Abdur Rahman, and the Encyclopaedia 
of Islam. Vol. I of the former work is a translation of Abdur Rahman's autobiography. 
Sir Louis Dane has, very kindly, read this and the following eight chapters, and has made 
valuable suggestions. 



training resembled that of a medieval European of noble 
family. In other words, he spent most of his time in 
sport and warlike exercises, and could only read and write 
with difficulty. 

When he was thirteen years of age, Afzal visited 
Kabul to pay his respects to Dost Muhammad and his 
youthful son was left to act as Governor in his place. 

His Appointment to Tashkurgan. Shortly afterwards, 
he was appointed Governor of Tashkurgan by his grand- 
father. This appointment he held for some two years, 
reducing the revenues in case of failure in the crops and, 
generally speaking, ruling with leniency. But his father, 
who visited the province, after inspecting the revenue 
accounts, refused these concessions and insisted on full 
payment of the taxes. The young Sirdar therefore 
resigned the governorship and returned to Takhtapul, 
where his father had built a palace and established his 
family. He now returned to his studies, but secured 
physical fitness by hunting for two days a week in the 
jungles of the Oxus, or fishing on the river of Balkh. 

His Training under Campbell. At this period he fell 
under the influence of Campbell, Shah Shuja's able 
general, who, as mentioned in Chapter XXIX, had been 
taken prisoner at Kandahar in 1834. Converted to 
Islam, he became the Commander of Afzal's army under 
the name of Shir Muhammad Khan. The young Sirdar 
rightly admired Campbell whom he describes as, " a 
very clever military officer, as well as a good doctor. His 
character was most heroic/* For three years he " con- 
tinued to be trained in surgery and military tactics ", 
and there is no doubt that he profited greatly by the 
instruction he received from Campbell. He also learned 
to do blacksmith's work and, to quote again, " I acquired 
the art of riflemaking, and I made three complete double 
rifles with my own hands ". 

His Imprisonment by Afzal Khan. His father must 
have been a singularly harsh parent for, hearing from a 
relation that his son drank wine and smoked Indian 
hemp, he believed the charge, and continually found 
fault with him. Abdur Rahman thereupon determined 


to run away to Herat. This design having been betrayed 
by his servants, he was thrown into prison with chains on 
his ankles and, in this unhappy position, he languished 
for one year. 

Upon the death of Campbell, Afzal wished to appoint 
one of his trusted followers to the post. But to quote 
yet again, " he refused to accept it, saying to my father 
that his own son, who had been one year in prison, and 
therefore punished sufficiently for his faults, was the 
proper person to take the place of Shir Muhammad Khan. 
My father at first refused . . . but being urged to give me 
a trial, he finally consented to send for me. I came 
straight from prison to appear before my father . . . with 
chains around my ankles. My father addressed himself 
to all the military officers saying, ' I appoint this my 
lunatic son to be General over you '. To which they 
replied: * God forbid that your son should be a lunatic: 
we know well that he is wise and sensible, you also will 
find this out, and will prove that it is disloyal people who 
give him a bad character V 

His Appointment as Commander-in-Chief. In this 
manner, the earliest crisis in Abdur Rahman's life, which 
might well have been a story taken from the Arabian 
Nights, ended satisfactorily. Thanks to his energy and 
powers of organization, his father not only forgave him, 
but, realizing his capacity, appointed him Commander- 
in-Chief of the entire army, which represented a force of 
30,000 officers and men of all arms, of whom one-half 
were regulars. 

The Annexation of Kataghan. At this period, Dtfst 
Muhammad determined to annex the petty Khanates on 
the left bank of the Oxus and Abdur Rahman, who acted 
as Commander-in-Chief, under his uncle Azim Khan, 
invaded the neighbouring province of Kataghan. Its 
ruler, the Mir Atalikj- as he was termed, had appealed for 
help to the Amir of Bukhara, who had " sent him a flag 
and a tent, telling him to erect the tent in his country, 
with the flag in front, to frighten the Afghans ". 

1 The term means " Lord Fatherhead ". Yakub Beg, who conquered Chinese 
Turkistan in 1865, was given the title of Atalik GAazi by the Amir of Bukhara. 


Abdur Rahman marched on Ghori which was held 
by a strong force, while the Mir Atalik " showed himself 
with 40,000 sowars from the top of an adjacent hill, to 
encourage his soldiers in the fort ". However, the Afghan 
troops, under cover of a heavy cannonade, stormed the 
outer fort and, following close on its escaping defenders, 
took possession of the bazar. Thereupon the main fort, 
which had only been provisioned for ten days, surrendered. 

The Amir of Bukhara crosses the Oxus. The Amir of 
Bukhara, at this period, decided to take a hand in the 
game in the interests of the Mir of Badakhshan, and 
crossed the Oxus with a large force. The situation was 
difficult, since it was possible that the Uzbegs of Afghan 
Turkistan, who were of the same nationality, would 
rebel, while there was also the possibility, if not the likeli- 
hood, of the Amir of Bukhara making a sudden attack 
on the Afghans. In the event, Abdur Rahman, while 
marching to the support of his uncle, heard artillery fire. 
This was taken to signify the revolt of the Uzbegs and 
caused great alarm among his soldiers; actually it was a 
feu de joie, fired by Azim Khan, to celebrate the flight of 
the Amir of Bukhara ! 

The Succession of Shir All Khan in 1863. Upon the 
death of Dost Muhammad in 1863, Shir Ali, as we have 
seen, succeeded his father, but his elder brothers rebelled. 
Azim, who was Governor of Kurram, was defeated and 
fled to India, while Afzal was imprisoned. 

The Flight of Abdur Rahman to Bukhara. Abdur 
Rahman, when summoned by Shir Ali, took refuge with 
Muzaffar-ud-Din, the Amir of Bukhara, who, according 
to the Sirdar's own account, did not treat him with the 
honour which he considered to be his due, or indeed 
with the hospitality that is usual among Moslems. Con- 
sequently, he bluntly refused to accept a position at the 
Amir's Court. This brought him into disfavour, but, 
upon news being received that the Russians had captured 
Tashkent, the Amir of Bukhara, in much alarm, left for 

The Return of Abdur Rahman and his Defeat by Shir 
Ali. The young Sirdar, thereupon, decided to recross 


the Oxus into Afghan Turkistan, where he was welcomed 
by the troops. But the struggle with Shir AH, as men- 
tioned in Chapter XXXIV, ended in his final defeat in 
January 1869. After this disaster, accompanied by his 
uncle and some faithful followers, he started on a long 
weary journey round Afghanistan to Samarkand. 

Among the most interesting of his experiences is the 
following: " The first night I entered the Wazir country, 
I had eaten nothing since my defeat, and I told my sowars 
that I was very hungry, and should much like a piece of 
meat. They had one piece of money between them, and 
with this they bought some mutton, butter and onions. 
. . . My men managed to procure an iron saucepan, and 
in this I cooked some of the meat, making also some 
gravy. I had been obliged to tie the saucepan to some 
sticks to hang it over the fire, and as I was going to take 
the cooked meat out of the saucepan, a dog, thinking the 
hanging string was the intestines of some animal, seized 
it in his mouth and ran off with the whole thing. . , . 
Three days before I had 1000 camels to carry my cooking 
utensils, and now one dog could run off with my cooking 
pans, together with the food." 1 

While travelling along the Indian frontier A'tair Azim 
received a letter from two English officers inviting him to 
take refuge in British territory. He replied, according 
to the autobiography: " When the Viceroy of India 
writes me a letter of invitation, promising not to take us 
beyond the Indus, we will come. To this letter he asked 
me to affix my seal, but I refused, saying I had never seen 
the benefit of English friendship/' Actually, I imagiile 
that shrewd Abdur Rahman wished to take refuge at a 
convenient point from which he could watch events in 
Afghan Turkistan, where most of his adherents were to be 
found. That fact, rather than any dislike of the English, 
probably decided his refusal. 

Leaving the Wazir country in March, the refugees 
proceeded to the Zhob Valley and Pishin, and passing 
through Nushki, struck the Helmand, suffering consider- 

1 In Chapter XII, a similar story is told of Amr-ul-Lais, and it rather looks as if 
Abdur Rahman had heard of it I 


able hardships from lack of supplies, from the soaking 
rain and the bitter winds. Reaching Chagai with men 
and horses exhausted, they stayed there for twenty-five 
days and grazed their beasts. Resuming the journey, 
the Helmand was struck and, meeting a band of raiders 
from Persian Seistan, Abdur Rahman made friends 
with them and on reaching the delta province, the 
party was hospitably entertained by Mir Alum Khan 
of Kain, who was, as we have seen, discourteous to 
Sir Frederic Goldsmid and the officers of the Seistan 

Once in Persia, the hardships of the refugees were 
finished for the time being, and the Sirdars travelled to 
Meshed, the sacred city of Persia and the capital of 
Khurasan, where they were received with much honour. 

The Shah invited Abdur Rahman to visit him at 
Tehran, but he asked to be allowed to proceed to Urganj 
or Khiva. This was permitted, and leaving Azim (who 
shortly afterwards died), in charge of his Meshed hosts, 
Abdur Rahman continued his wanderings to Darragaz. 
There his hospitable host arranged for his safety while 
crossing the Turkoman country, by holding as security 
one thousand camel loads belonging to Turkoman 

Passing through Askabad and Tejen, the wanderers 
crossed the grim Kara Kum desert, again undergoing 
severe hardships from thirst, and finally reached Khiva. In 
this fertile oasis the ruler, Sayyid Muhammad Rahim Khan, 
who was truly hospitable, " told me that he regarded me as 
his elder brother, as his father Muhammad Amin was most 
friendly to my father. . . . He offered me two of the seven 
cities now under his rule." Abdur Rahman, in return 
for this generous proposal, strongly advised the Khan to 
make terms with Russia, but his people cried: " Death 
awaits the Russians if they come near Urganj ". 

Abdur Rahman again visits Bukhara. Continuing his 
wanderings the Sirdar crossed the Oxus and reached 
Kara Kul in Bukharan territory, where he was greeted by 
his cousin Ishak Khan (son of Sirdar Azim) and by his 
servants. He was received by the Amir of Bukhara at 


Hissar, where he remained for a few days, making little 
comment on his reception which was cool. 

Abdur Rahman and General Kaufmann, 1870. The 
wanderer then travelled to Samarkand, now a Russian 
possession, where he was kindly received by the Russian 
authorities. In due course he paid a visit to the Governor- 
General at Tashkent. So far as his correspondence 
proves, Kaufmann behaved honestly on this occasion in 
his dealings with the Afghan Sirdar. Abdur Rahman 
tried hard to persuade him that it was absolutely necessary 
for the interests of Russia that he should be assisted to 
become Amir of Afghanistan. Kaufmann's reply was 
that he had been given hospitality in consideration of 
his destitute condition ; that the relations of Russia with 
Great Britain were friendly and that he wished Shir Ali 
a prosperous reign. 1 

It was finally decided that Abdur Rahman should 
be provided with a house and garden at Samarkand, and 
there he lived, supported by an allowance from his hosts, 
from 1870 to 1880. He had settled down in the best 
centre for watching events in Afghanistan, and for eleven 
years he watched and intrigued with the Chiefs across 
the Oxus and with merchants who visited hin\ In con- 
cluding this account of the early years of Abdur Rahman's 
chequered career, it is impossible not to admire the 
courage and humour which he displayed under con- 
ditions that would have crushed most men. His auto- 
biography certainly bears comparison with the famous 
memoirs of the Emperor Baber. 

Abdur Rahman decides to return to Afghanistan. In 
his autobiography Abdur Rahman writes : " After two 
years of my stay in Samarkand, the friendship of the 
Afghans and the Russians grew stronger and stronger, 
and the communication between Shir Ali and the 
Government became more frequent. I discovered that 
Muhammad Alam Khan, Governor of Balkh, was in the 
habit of sending envoys to the Amir of Bukhara, who 
forwarded these letters to General Abramoff and to the 

1 An extract of Kaufmann'a letter of June 29 to Prince GortchakofF was shown to 
the British Ambassador at St. Petersburg. 


Viceroy of Tashkent. The Russians would reply to 
the letters through the same medium/' 

The Sirdar was naturally excited by the tragedy at 
Kabul, which resulted in the flight and death of Shir Ali 
and the elimination of Yakub and Ayub. He decided 
to return to Afghanistan immediately, and began to make 

The Encouragement of Abdur Rahman by Russia. It is 
interesting to note that the Sirdar was encouraged to 
return to Afghanistan at this juncture. He describes 
how, in the absence of Kaufmann at Orenburg, his 
secretary not only permitted but urged him to take 
advantage of the favourable opportunity. He was, by 
permission of Kaufmann, also given 200 breach-loading 
rifles with ammunition and some money. He writes: 
" The Russians pressed me most strongly to leave. They 
said I could not leave soon enough." 

This probably constitutes an accurate account of 
what happened, and Lord Dufferin pointed out to M. de 
Giers that the Russian Government, while professing its 
desire to reassure Great Britain as to its pacific intentions 
in Central Asia, in the person of Abdur Rahman, had 
launched $. new element of disturbance into Afghanistan 
at a critical period. 

Abdur Rahman travels to Badakhshan. Acting 
promptly, the Sirdar borrowed " 2000 sovereigns from 
the merchants ", purchased horses and equipment and 
proceeded to Khojand where he bought some thirty 
pack ponies. From Khojand he made for Badakhshan, 
but attempting the most direct route: " I found the 
mountain like a hen's egg, being white with snow. It 
was so high I was afraid we should never reach the top, 
but I put my trust in Allah, and we began the ascent . . . 
allowing our horses to go in front, and held on to their 
tails to help us up." Having crossed this pass at great 
risk, and with some cases of frost-bite among his 
adherents, Abdur Rahman was informed that there were 
" four more mountains " between him and Hissar. 
Accordingly he decided to make for Shahr-i-Sabz 
where, by orders of the Amir of Bukhara who was always 


his enemy, the city gates were closed against him. 
Moving on to Hissar, by a ruse, which he describes with 
glee, he secured six horses belonging to the " chiefs 
holding civil appointments in the city ". He then crossed 
the Oxus and reached Rustak, a village of Badakhshan. 

His reception in Badakhshan by Shahzadeh Hassan, 
son of Mir Shah the latter was brother of Mir 
Jahandar Shah, his father-in-law 1 was hardly encourag- 
ing, since he was informed that the people of Badakhshan 
11 had vowed that if a piece of their land was touched by 
the feet of an Afghan, they would throw that piece of 
land out of the country as well as myself, as being 
impure ". 

To continue : " The next morning putting my trust 
in Allah, I started to face the army of Shahzadeh Hassan. 
After a march of twelve miles, I saw the enemy, 12,000 
strong with twelve flags in their midst, coming towards 
me. When we arrived about the distance of a mile 
apart, I saw to my astonishment that the enemy began 
to disperse gradually in different directions, as if under 
the influence of an evil spirit. I could not understand 
what had happened. In the meantime, a body of sowars 
belonging to the Mir of Badakhshan, the cousin of Shah- 
zadeh Hassan was approaching from another direction, 
praising Allah. . . . They told me they had come to 
salaam Abdur Rahman.'* 

After these truly amazing events, Abdur Rahman 
issued the following proclamation: " O Moslems, I 
have not come to fight Afghans who are true believers, 
but to make ghaza. Therefore it is necessary that you 
should all obey my commands, which are those of Allah 
and his prophets. We are all the slaves of Allah, but 
ghaza is a duty to us all." After a second dramatic event, 
which proved the steadfast courage and strong personality 
of Abdur Rahman, we find the troops of Afghan 
Tukistan coming over to him and " giving banquets 
in their joy ". 

At this juncture, Abdur Rahman, who was inspecting 

1 Mir Jahandar Shah was murdered by his sons in Russian territory. They were 
imprisoned by the Russians, but Abdur Rahman secured their release. 


the artillery, was surprised to see a suppliant, who had 
thrown himself at his feet. This was Muhammad Sar- 
war, who had deserted him at Samarkand. He was the 
bearer of a letter from Mr. (later Sir Lepel) Griffin, the 
Chief Political Officer at Kabul, which ran: "It has 
become known that you have entered Afghanistan and 
consequently this letter is sent to you by a confidential 
messenger, in order that you may submit to the British 
officers at Kabul any representations that you may desire 
to make to the British Government with regard to your 
object in entering Afghanistan ". Muhammad Sarwar 
was instructed to inform his late master that the British 
were able to benefit him much more than the Russians, 
and that he would be wise to open up relations with them. 
He was also instructed to point out that the British had 
no intention of annexing the country and that their chief 
desire was to see a strong and friendly Amir firmly 
established at Kabul. The astute Sirdar read " the letter 
out loud and asked the chiefs to help him to compose an 
answer since he did not wish ", he declared, " to do 
anything without first consulting them ". Their answers 
were hostile to the British and, accordingly, Abdur 
Rahman t^pfore them all drafted his reply, which was 
complimentary and vague, declaring that his only inten- 
tion in leaving Russia was to help his nation, which was 
in a state of much perplexity and trouble. Upon hearing 
this reply, " on the oath of Allah and their Prophet, they 
invested me with full authority to write what I thought 
fit ". 

The Arrival of Abdur Rahman in Afghan Turkistan 
reported to the British. The news of the arrival of Abdur 
Rahman in Afghan Turkistan reached the British through 
a Reuter's telegram of January 7, 1880, according to 
which he was reported to be at Balkh. The reaction to 
this important intelligence in Afghanistan was that Shir 
Ali Khan, the Wqli of Kandahar, evinced unfeigned 
alarm and stated that Abdur Rahman would be welcomed 
at Herat both by the garrison and the inhabitants. 
Stewart agreed with this view, but Roberts, while report- 
ing that many Chiefs in Kabul would dislike his 



appearance at that city, remarked that he was con- 
sidered to be a capable soldier and an exceptionally 
resolute man. 

The Action of Mr. Lepel Griffin. The Indian authori- 
ties considered that the Sirdar might possibly be a suitable 
ruler for Northern Afghanistan and, upon inquiry, as- 
certained from his mother, who was residing at Kandahar, 
that he might be disposed to negotiate with the British. 
At this juncture, authentic information reached Kabul on 
March 25 that Abdur Rahman had won over the troops 
in Afghan Turkistan and had been joined by the Chief 
of Badakhshan. Griffin immediately decided to take 
action and, on April 2, despatched Muhammad Sarwar 
with the letter given above. 

The Letter of Abdur Rahman. On April 21, the 
friendly but guarded reply of Abdur Rahman was 
received. It gave a sketch of recent events in Afghanistan, 
severely blaming Yakub Khan who " raised fools to power 
until two ignorant men directed the affairs of Afghanistan 
which during the reign of my grandfather . . . was 
bright like the day ". It ended up with the wish that 
" you will permanently establish the Afghans under the 
honorable protection of the two Powers ". Muhammad 
Sarwar, however, reported that the Sirdar was anxious 
for the friendship of the British, while, at the same time, 
acknowledging his obligations to Russia. 

The Chief Opponents of Abdur Rahman. The Ghilzais, 
whose centre was Ghazni, were known to be openly 
hostile to Abdur Rahman. Consequently Griffin decided 
to receive a deputation from that city which petitioned 
for the restoration of Yakub Khan. At the durbar held 
on this occasion Griffin declared that the British Govern- 
ment would not restore Yakub Khan, but would recognize 
as Amir of Kabul the Chief who was desired by the people 
of Afghanistan. 

The March of Sir Donald Stewart from Kandahar to 
Kabul. At this juncture, Stewart was ordered to march 
his division, which was between 7000 and 8000 strong, 
to Ghazni, the intention at that period being to withdraw 
it to India by the Kurram Valley. Leaving Kandahar 


early in April 1880, hostile tribesmen in large numbers 
were reported by the scouts to be advancing parallel to 
the British force at a distance of some miles from the 
right flank of the column. On April 14 the route passed 
through low hills which bordered it for some distance 
and then bent round eastwards across it. This position 
was seen to be strongly held by the enemy along a front 
of about two miles. 

The Battle of Ahmad Khel, 1880. The British force 
advanced and, upon the guns opening fire, successive 
waves of Ghazis swiftly charged downhill, stretching 
beyond either flank of the British, while a large body of 
horsemen threatened the left and rear. The Afghan 
cavalry charged, and at first, on the left flank, threw back 
the 1 9th Bengal Lancers, who had to charge uphill to 
meet them. Meanwhile the Afghan footmen pressed on 
with such fanatical valour, that neither the guns firing 
case nor the heavy fire of the infantry seemed able to stop 
their rush. The situation became critical. However, the 
arrival of further troops at the front and the steady fire 
of the guns and infantry, which mowed down the Ghazis 
by hundreds, finally broke their charge. The defeated 
tribesmen moved along the hills to the west, where they 
came under the fire of the heavy battery and, after an 
engagement lasting just one hour, " cease fire " was 

The Account of the Battle given by Lieutenant Hamilton, 
R.A. An interesting description of this battle by 
Lieutenant P. F. P. Hamilton merits quotation: " Sir 
Donald Stewart never expected the enemy to take the 
initiative as they did, and it was for that reason that our 
battery was ordered to take up a position at about 1500 
yards, and not to open fire, but to wait for the infantry to 
form line. . . . Hardly had we unlimbered and come into 
action, than the mass of the enemy advanced boldly down, 
and at a great pace, and we then discovered that they 
formed the centre of a long line which was concealed by 
the intervening nalas. Throwing forward their flanks, 
and speedily assuming a semicircular shape, they pro- 
ceeded to envelop us. You will see how quickly we have 


to change our ranges. After we had been firing for about 
five minutes, G/4 Field Battery galloped into action on 
our left, and the two escort companies who also arrived 
at this time, commenced firing very rapid volleys on 
the left of G/4. Altogether twelve field guns were 
making most excellent practice, and the two companies 
were laying many low before them, but their advance 
was in no way checked. . . . We were obliged to retire, 
but after taking up their new position, the two batteries 
soon cleared their front, and there was a ghastly pile 
of dead heaped on the ground we had just left." This 
account ends with the remark: " I only saw two Afghans 
ask for mercy, and one cannot help admiring their reck- 
less bravery; and the way, and order, in which they 
advanced, deserved success 'V 

The Afghan force, estimated at 15,000, consisted 
mainly of Ghilzais, but there was also a large contingent 
of Durranis from Zamindawar. They possessed but two 
guns. The loss of the enemy was more than one thousand 
killed. The British losses were negligible. Thus ended 
the engagement of Ahmad Khel, in which British superior 
armament and discipline overthrew the heroic Ghilzais 
and Durranis, whose bravery, as Hamilton, declares, 
merits the highest praise. 

Resuming the march, Ghazni was reached on April 2 1 . 
Here Stewart received orders to proceed to Kabul and 
assume supreme command. While halting at Ghazni a 
second tribal gathering was attacked and dispersed, 
heavy losses being inflicted on the enemy. 

Roberts despatches Supplies under an Escort to meet 
Stewart. It had been arranged that Roberts should 
despatch a convoy to meet the Kandahar force. This he 
did on April 16 with a small column to serve as escort 
under Major-General Ross. This column, while on 
the march forty miles from Ghazni, on April 22, sighted 
heliograph flashes on Shir Dahan, a pass 8300 feet in 
height, and was able to open up communication with 

1 Letters from Lieut. P. F. P, Hamilton, R.H. Artillery, and Lieut. E. O. F. 
Hamilton, 2nd Queen*s Royal Regt., 1881. These letters were printed for private 


Stewart by heliograph, which thus, for the first time, 
proved its military value. 

Roberts despatches two Columns to meet Stewart. 
Roberts was informed that the Logaris of Charasia were 
bitterly hostile to Abdur Rahman, and accordingly 
despatched a second column 1200 strong under Colonel 
Jenkins to prevent them from joining in an attack on 
Ross as was their undoubted intention. Jenkins, on 
reaching Charasia, reported that he was about to be 
attacked by the Logaris under Muhammad Hasan Khan 
in great force. Roberts thereupon immediately despatched 
Brigadier-General Macpherson to the assistance of 
Jenkins with another force of all arms of about the same 
strength, while Brigadier-General Hugh Gough with the 
Cavalry brigade took up a position half-way between 
Kabul and Charasia. The event proved the wisdom of 
these precautions. Macpherson, upon reaching the high 
ground beyond the Sang-i-Nawishta gorge, saw that 
Jenkins was being hard pressed by a force which had 
formed a semicircle round his column. He promptly 
attacked and scattered the Logaris. 

Stewart's Arrival at Kabul. Stewart finally reached 
Kabul on*May 2, and there is no doubt that the arrival 
of his division and even more the crushing defeat of the 
Ghilzais, followed by the punishment inflicted on other 
tribes hostile to Abdur Rahman, effected more than any 
other actions could have done to " make straight the 
way " for the Sirdar. 

A Liberal Government comes into Power. The arrival 
at* Kabul of Stewart coincided with a change of Govern- 
ment in Great Britain. Mr. Gladstone succeeded Lord 
Beaconsfield as Prime Minister, while Lord Ripon was 
appointed Viceroy of India, but did not actually assume 
office until June. 

The Decisions of Lord Lytton. At the end of April 
1880, Lord Lytton laid down that the question of a 
joint protectorate by Great Britain and Russia could not 
be considered and that that Power had repeatedly 
renewed the assurances solemnly given to the British 
Government that " Russia considered Afghanistan to lie 


entirely beyond the sphere of her influence ". As to the 
Kandahar question, he stated that the objects of the 
Second Afghan War were (a) to avenge the treacherous 
massacre of the British Mission at Kabul, and ($) to 
maintain the safeguards of the treaty of Gandamak by 
the provision of more substantial guarantees. These 
two objects had been attained; the first by the capture 
of Kabul and the punishment of the crime; and the 
second by the severance of the province of Kandahar. 
He added that Shir AH Khan, the Wall of Kandahar, 
had been recognised by the British Government as the 
ruler of that province and would be maintained in this 

His Invitation to Abdur Rahman. With special 
reference to Abdur Rahman's letter, Lord Lytton con- 
sidered that the natural repugnance expressed by the 
Sirdar to accept conditions which might make him appear 
ungrateful to Russia " whose salt he had eaten ", did 
him credit. He also laid down that neither the districts 
ceded by the Treaty of Gandamak, nor any portion of 
the Kandahar province would ever be restored to the ruler 
of Kabul; and that the question of Herat had been 
taken over by Her Majesty's Government, with whose 
views the Government of India was not yet acquainted. 
On the other hand the Sirdar was to be informed that 
Kabul would be evacuated in October and that it was 
desired to transfer to his authority the whole of the 
country which would be evacuated. Finally, Abdur 
Rahman was invited to proceed to Kabul and thus facili- 
tate the arrangements for effecting the transfer bf 
authority to him. 

The Question of Herat. The question of the Herat 
province may perhaps be suitably dealt with at this point. 
Lord Salisbury, in the spring of 1879, recommended 
making a rectification of the Perso-Afghan frontier one 
of the conditions of peace, upon the conclusion of the 
Second Afghan War by the Treaty of Gandamak. 

The Persian Minister in London pressed for the 
cession of Herat, but our representative at Tehran 
pointed out that Persia's occupation of the province 


would only open the door to Russia. He was not, how- 
ever, opposed to the cession of Afghan Seistan, which the 
Persian Government was also most anxious to secure. 
The Government of India expressed their opinion that 
these proposals would alienate the Kabul Government 
and give offence, so far as the question of Herat was 
concerned, to Russia. 

The Foreign Office was, however, inclined to agree 
to the above cessions, provided that the British should 
insist upon the right of military occupation of Herat, in 
case of certain eventualities; that a number of British 
officers should also be employed in the garrison of Herat; 
and finally, that the question of opening the Karun River 
to navigation should be raised. In December 1879, ^ e 
British Government, considering the disintegration of 
Afghanistan certain, agreed to the Herat province being 
ceded to Persia, subject to the above conditions. The 
Shah accepted and expressed gratification but, in February 
1880, under Russian influence, His Majesty refused to 
accept Herat under any other conditions than of per- 
manent occupation. As a result, this question, together 
with that of handing over Afghan Seistan to Persia, was 
dropped. * 

Had this policy been carried out, the Afghans would 
have been permanently estranged, while it was known 
that Russia would have strongly resented any such cession 
without her wishes being consulted. It is also clear that 
Russian influence would have penetrated to the frontiers 
of India. 

The Second Letter of Abdur Rahman. Abdur Rahman, 
as we have seen, had a very difficult game to play in view 
of the turbulent, suspicious and fanatical people with 
whom he had to justify each step he took. He thus desired 
further information: What would be the boundaries of 
his dominions? Would a European representative or a 
British force remain in Afghanistan? What enemy of the 
British would he be called upon to repel? And what 
benefits would the British Government confer on him and 
his country? 

The Views of the Gladstone Government. At this 


juncture the views of the new Government reached India. 
It was pointed out that the sole result of two successful 
campaigns was the dismemberment of a state which it 
was in the interests of India to see strong, friendly and 
independent. It was decided that Lytton's policy of dis- 
integration was to be replaced by one of reconstruction, 
which included the reversal of the scheme for separating 
the province of Kandahar from Kabul. It was also 
pointed out that the strategical value of Kandahar existed 
only in connexion with a system of frontier defence, much 
more extensive than any that was now required; that the 
Wali could not maintain his position without British 
financial and military assistance, and that finally the 
financial burden of retaining the province with its ill- 
defined boundaries would be intolerable. To give the 
views, expressed by other authorities, Roberts had 
declared that our grasp on Kandahar should never 
be loosened, but Sir Garnet Wolseley considered that 
although we were bound to occupy Kandahar if Russia 
marched on Herat, no military advantage was secured 
by its present retention. 

Sir Lepel Griffin receives Abdur Rahman. To return 
to Abdur Rahman, Roberts and Griffin, in view of his 
proclamation in Badakhshan, entertained grave suspicions 
of the honesty of the Sirdar. The Government of India, 
however, ordered the negotiations to continue and, in 
July, Abdur Rahman, whose following, according to his 
autobiography, included about 300,000 Ghazis an im- 
possible number to feed reached Kuhistan, one stage to 
north of Kabul. Griffin held a formal durbar in this 
district, at which Abdur Rahman was received with 
honour. Griffin's report to Stewart ran: " Abdur Rah- 
man Khan is a man of about forty, of middle height, and 
rather stout. He has an exceedingly intelligent face, 
brown eyes, a pleasant smile, and a frank, courteous 
manner. The impression that he left on me and on the 
officers who were present at the interview, was most 
favourable: he kept thoroughly to the point under dis- 
cussion, and his remarks were characterized by shrewdness 
and ability. He appeared animated by a sincere desire 


to be on cordial terms with the British Government." 

These negotiations ended in a letter from the British 
proposing that a public announcement of his recognition 
as Amir of Kabul should be made by them. To this 
Abdur Rahman replied in a letter which ended: " I 
accept from you and from the Viceroy of India, the 
Amirship of Afghanistan ". 

Abdur Rahman is proclaimed Amir of Kabul. At a 
durbar held at Kabul on July 22, 1880, Sirdar Abdur 
Rahman was formally acknowledged and recognized by 
the British Government as Amir of Kabul. On the 
following day the khutba was read in his name and the 
Chief Kazi reviewing the whole course of British relations 
with Afghanistan, eulogized their action in restoring a 
Moslem ruler to a country, of which they were in military 

The accession of Abdur Rahman, although, as we 
have seen, it was opposed by a powerful party was, 
generally speaking, hailed with enthusiasm, and helped 
materially to quiet the widespread unrest prevailing in 
the country. It also clearly demonstrated the sincerity 
of the British Government. 

The Memorandum of Obligation^ July 1880. The 
new Amir was most anxious that the British Govern- 
ment should negotiate a treaty with him, but this was 
refused for the time being, on the grounds that his 
position was not sufficiently consolidated. A Memo- 
randum of Obligation was, however, granted, by the 
terms of which, the British Government stated that it 
h^,d no desire to interfere in the internal government of 
Afghanistan, nor to appoint a British Resident, but that, 
under agreement, it would appoint a Moslem Agent. 
It laid down that, since both Russia and Persia were 
pleased to abstain from all interference with the affairs 
of Afghanistan, it was obvious that the Amir could have 
no political relations with any foreign Power, except with 
the British Government. Finally, to quote from the 
document: " If any foreign Power should attempt to 
interfere in Afghanistan, and if such interference should 
lead to unprovoked aggression on the dominions of your 


Highness, in that event the British Government would 
be prepared to aid you to such extent and in such manner 
as may appear to the British Government necessary in 
repelling it, provided that your Highness follows un- 
reservedly the advice of the British Government in regard 
to your external relations ". Financial assistance was, at 
first, given to the extent of 20 lakhs l of rupees. 

The Evacuation of Afghanistan by the British Army. 
Arrangements had been made for the British army to 
evacuate Afghanistan by the Khaibar Pass and the 
Kurram Valley when, on July 28, news reached Kabul of 
the crushing defeat by Ayub Khan of a British force at 
Maiwand. Before, however, dealing with this disaster, 
which was met by the despatch southward of a strong 
column under Roberts on August 8, it is to be noted 
that the Amir occupied Kabul on August 1 1 , and that 
the British troops under Stewart marched back to India 
without a single shot being fired at them. Amir Abdur 
Rahman Khan was left to make good his position at 

The Mistaken Policy of Ayub Khan. Looking back on 
the courageous initiative displayed by Abdur Rahman, 
who was only supported by a handful of followers, it 
is clear that Ayub Khan, who governed Herat with 
a powerful force supported by modern artillery, held 
practically all the cards and should have attacked his only 
rival as soon as he crossed the Oxus. He would surely 
have defeated him and, in view of British anxiety to 
evacuate Afghanistan, he would have been able to make 
terms and be acknowledged as Amir, Instead of taking 
this obvious step, Ayub attacked the British, by whom 
he was finally defeated and driven into exile. He 
played his very strong hand extremely badly. 

1 A lakh of rupees was worth about 8250 at this period. 



I have it on the authority of a Colonel of Ayub Khan's army, who was 
present at the time, that a party of the 66th regiment, which he estimated at 
one hundred officers and men, made a most determined stand. They were 
surrounded by the whole of the Afghan army, and fought on until only eleven 
men were left, inflicting enormous losses. These eleven men charged out of 
the garden, and died, fighting to the death. From the Report of GENERAL 
PRIMROSE, dated Oct. i, 1880. 

Ayub Khans Intention to attack Kandahar. Before 
dealing with the attack made on Kandahar by Ayub 
Khan in the summer of 1880, it is desirable to give some 
account of the circumstances which led up to it. 1 

Early in 1879, when his brother Yakub Khan 
succeeded his father, Ayub was appointed Governor of 
Herat. He was an exile in Persia at this period, having 
taken refuge with the Shah some five years previously, 
when his brother had been imprisoned by Shir All. 
Established at Herat, Ayub carried on constant intrigues 
with the Shah, who, as mentioned in the last chapter, 
was employing every possible means to secure the pro- 
vince of Herat and also Afghan Seistan. In November 
1879 th e British Minister at Tehran was shown a tele- 
gfam sent to the Persian Foreign Secretary in which 
Ayub declared his determination to proclaim jihad and 
to march on Kandahar. However, mutinies and a fight 
between the Kabuli and Herati regiments delayed matters, 
but the Kabuli troops were anxious to return home, while 
many of his chief advisers were connected with Kandahar, 
and were equally anxious to return to that city as 

1 I have consulted The Second Afghan War (official account); The Second Afghan 
War> by Colonel H. B. Hanna, 1810; " E/B R.H.A. at Maiwand ", by Captain H. B. 
Latham (Journal of the Royal Artillery , vol. Iv, No. 3, Oct. 1928); The Royal Berkshire 
Regiment, by F. Loraine Petre. Major Lynch, the last surviving officer of the 66th, 
has given me an especially vivid account of the battle, from which I am quoting. 



conquerors. The unjustifiable departure of Stewart's 
division from Kandahar in April exposed the military 
weakness of the British, and was probably the deciding 
factor for Ayub and his advisers. 

The March of the Wali to Girishk. Upon hearing of 
Ayub's departure from Herat, Shir Ali marched his army, 
which consisted of 2000 infantry, 1000 cavalry and 
6 smooth-bore guns, to Girishk, situated on the right 
bank of the Helmand. There, realizing the danger of 
his force deserting to the enemy, he appealed for support 
to the Government of India, and this it was decided to 
afford him. 

The Military Position at Kandahar. The military 
position at Kandahar was unsatisfactory. Lieutenant- 
General J. M. Primrose, who assumed command in 
Southern Afghanistan after the departure of Stewart, had 
long lines of communication which were constantly being 
attacked. He also had a detachment, 1000 strong, at 
Kalat-i-Ghilzai, which should have reinforced Kandahar. 
So difficult was the position in Baluchistan that the only 
reinforcement which reached Kandahar was a single 
Bombay regiment. The total of the force at this city was 
under 5000 men. * 

The news of the advance of Ayub Khan spread like 
wildfire; ominous reports of the assembling of large 
bodies of Ghazis were received, while the Wait 3 troops 
were mutinous. Brigadier-General G. R. S. Burrows was 
accordingly ordered by Primrose to march his brigade to 
the Helmand. His force consisted of the 66th regiment, 
500 strong, native infantry, 1300 strong, with a battely 
of the Royal Horse Artillery and some 600 cavalry. The 
total of all ranks was 2500. 

Burrows left Kandahar on July 4, and upon reaching 
the Helmand a week later, camped opposite Girishk. It 
was hoped that the despatch of a British brigade to the 
Helmand would not only steady the Wall's force but 
would check the progress of Ayub Khan, since it might 
lead to the Kabuli troops breaking up and making for 
their homes. The alternative of awaiting the enemy at 
Kandahar would have allowed Ayub Khan to avoid that 


city and strike at Kalat-i-Ghilzai, and at Ghazni. The 
effect of such inaction would, consequently, have been 
damaging to the political and military situation. The 
Government of India practically decided that Ayub must 
be attacked. 

The Army of the Wali deserts to Ayub Khan. The 
troops of the Wali^ who had been mutinous for some 
time, deserted in a body to the enemy on July 1 1, taking 
with them their guns and ammunition. The cavalry alone 
remained loyal until it had escorted the Governor and his 
treasure to the British camp, but the force then broke 
up and made off towards Kandahar. The British mounted 
troops pursued the main body of the mutineers and, in 
spite of the difficult terrain, captured their guns and a 
quantity of ammunition. The captured battery consisted 
of four 6-pdr. smooth-bore guns and two 12-pdr. 
howitzers. These guns were taken over by a detachment 
of the 66th regiment, which had been previously trained 
in gun drill. Unfortunately the supply of ammunition 
was small. 

The British retire to Kushk-i-Nakhud. This mutiny 
completely altered the military and political situation. 
The Helijiand was now fordable everywhere ; behind the 
British force was a desert twenty-five miles wide, while 
supplies were difficult to procure. Consequently it was 
decided to retire to Kushk-i-Nakhud, which directly 
covered Kandahar from the Girishk direction, but not 
from a northerly route via Maiwand. It was a fertile 

Unreliable Information as to Ayub's Movements. The 
movements of Ayub's main body were not known with 
any accuracy, and Colonel St. John, the political officer, 
urged Burrows to march on Maiwand, assuring him that 
he would anticipate Ayub's army by at least a day. Since 
Maiwand was a stage nearer to Kandahar, Burrows decided 
to act on this information. 

The British Troops march on Maiwand. On July 26 
the troops spent the night in breaking up their standing 
camp. Consequently it was a tired force which marched 
off early on the following day encumbered by an un- 


wieldy baggage column which absorbed a guard of 200 

At 10 A.M., when the troops halted for an hour near 
a supply of water, it was reported by a spy that Ayub had 
already occupied Maiwand evidently with his advance- 
guard. He had thus outmanoeuvred Burrows and was 
marching across his front when the two forces met. 
Ayub now held the shortest route to Kandahar. Burrows 
therefore decided to attack him and gave the order to 
advance. The heat was very trying to all ranks and the 
men had not breakfasted before starting. 

The Strength of the Two Forces. Before describing the 
action, it is desirable to give some estimate of the army 
commanded by Ayub. His regular troops consisted of 
nine regiments aggregating 4000 men; his cavalry was 
3000 strong, and his artillery consisted of four field 
batteries and one mule battery with a total of 30 guns. 
Six of these guns were rifled Armstrong guns of superior 
range and weight to any on the British side. But, as was 
always the case in Afghanistan, the warlike tribesmen, 
many of whom were Ghazis, provided a large number of 
superb fighting men. The total of Ayub's army was 
estimated at 25,000. Against this formidable force 
Burrows was only able to oppose some 2000 men and 
1 2 guns, six of which were smooth-bored 6-pdrs., manned 
by a partially trained detachment with a totally in- 
adequate supply of ammunition. 

The Battle of Maiwand, July 27. The cavalry gained 
contact with the enemy shortly after passing the village of 
Mahmudabad, and was supported by two guns on the 
right and the left. The main body passed through 
Mahmudabad (where the baggage was parked), and was 
deployed in rear of the advance guard, which was already 
engaged. In front of it at a distance of some six hundred 
yards was a dry nullah 15 to 20 feet deep which was held 
by Ghazis throughout the action; and large masses of 
the enemy were reported by the cavalry as stretching in a 
wide semicircle to the front. 

The Artillery Duel. The action commenced with an 
artillery duel, in which Ayub's guns outmatched the 


British. The Afghan regular infantry was in the centre, 
but the still more formidable Ghazis working down the 
nullah under cover threatened the British right, while 
swarms of Afghan horsemen threatened the left rear and 
the baggage. The Indian cavalry was thus obliged to 
remain under artillery fire to check the Afghan horsemen, 
who pressed round both flanks. 

To quote Lieutenant T. F. T. Fowle: " Their 
artillery was extremely well served; their guns took ours 
in flank as well as directly, and their fire was concentrated. 
We were completely outmatched, and although we con- 
tinued to fire steadily, our guns seemed quite unable to 
silence theirs. Their six Armstrong guns threw heavier 
shell than ours. . . . They continued to advance, over- 
lapping us on both flanks." 

The Advance of the Afghans. Taking advantage of 
their superior artillery, the Afghans, using the nullah 
referred to above, pushed up their guns to within 500 
yards of the British line, while the regular infantry and 
masses of Ghazis planted their standards within 700 
yards of the 66th. The smooth-bore guns, whose 
ammunition was exhausted, owing to the absence of 
ammunition carriages, were withdrawn, pending the 
arrival of a fresh supply. 

At this period the infantry fired steadily with good 
effect, but the enemy were in such overwhelming numbers 
and outflanked the British so completely that the force 
was practically surrounded. Realizing the desperate 
position of the British, the Ghazis now charged from the 
nullah diagonally across the front of the British right. 
The attack first struck the two companies of Jacob's 
Rifles on the left, who had suffered heavily, had lost their 
only British officer, and were probably discouraged by 
the loss of artillery support. They broke and fell back to 
their right on the Bombay Grenadiers, who had also 
suffered severely, and who also broke. The 66th, who 
had been protected by a fold in the ground from the 
Afghan shells, fired steadily on the Ghazis, inflicting severe 
losses, and were still in line when they were struck in 
rear by the retreating mass of native infantry. Their 


impact upset the line of the 66th and the confused mass 
divided up into two separate bodies. The right section, 
which included the 66th, who kept in groups, retreated 
towards Khig, while the left section made for Mahmuda- 
bad. Burrows had ordered the cavalry to charge, but 
they had pulled up and retired. 

The 66th at Bay. The 66th, which had retreated on 
Khig, held fast until there remained but a group 100 
strong. This band fell back to a walled garden to the 
south of Khig. There a second stand was made under 
heavy artillery fire. Finally the last eleven survivors 
charged out of the garden and, standing back to back, 
fought to the death. 

On fame's eternal camping-ground their silent tents are spread, 
And glory guards with solemn round the bivouac of the dead. 1 

The Account given by Major Lynch. Before quitting 
the subject of this battle, I would mention that I have 
been especially privileged to discuss it with Major 
Hyacinth Lynch, the last surviving officer of the gallant 
66th. I now quote from his vivid description: " The 
enemy's Cavalry got ready to charge us early in the 
fight and very formidable they looked, well mounted. 
We prepared for Cavalry in the usual way and, when they 
were quite near, McMath gave them a volley; this 
brought down many horses and riders and in the con- 
fusion we commenced individual firing into them. Some 
of the Cavalry came up to us but their shock action was 
gone and broken and there was no speed on them. The 
horses did not like the bayonets. Our men stuck the 
riders and horses as they brushed against the bayonets 
and I could see them riding from our left to right pushing 
the bayonets to one side. They did not charge us again. " 

Of the last phase of the action he writes: " Crossing 
the watercourses now dry (the water had been turned off) 
after being wounded, I arrived at a garden where our 
men were making a stand behind thick mud walls. 
While there, the artillery was hammering us, a large 
portion of a wall in front collapsed and I could see the 

1 This couplet is engraved on the war memorial at Dornoch. 


Ghazis advancing with flags and their long knives 
glistening in the afternoon sun. While lying on the 
ground and feeling very bad, the last of the 4 Guns E/B 
R.H.A. passed near me, retiring. Captain Slade saw me, 
halted the gun and had me placed on the near axletree 
seat. I remember that the gun was so hot from firing 
that I could not touch it with my boots. " 

The Retreat. The fire of the British horse artillery 
during the last phase of the battle inflicted heavy losses 
on the enemy. Two guns were captured, but the other 
four came into action repeatedly to cover the retreat of 
the survivors of the disaster. 

Fortunately the pursuit was not pressed hard, the 
Afghans turning their attention to the congenial task of 
looting the baggage train. To quote from Slade: " All 
over the wide expanse of the desert are to be seen men 
in twos and threes retreating. . . . The guns and carriages 
are crowded with helpless wounded officers and men 
suffering the tortures of the damned. ... At last the river 
is reached; it is 11 A.M. and thirty-two miles from the 

Here Burrows reorganized his force which sighted a 
relief colujnn advancing towards the retreating brigade, 
whose losses were practically one-half of its strength. 

Summary. Studying this action, more than half a 
century later, it would appear that the responsibility for 
the disaster lay principally with the Indian authorities. 
They were aware or should have been aware that Ayub 
possessed a powerful artillery, but yet permitted Stewart 
to -march north and left the Kandahar force miserably 
weak in this respect. At Ahmad Khel the situation of 
Stewart's division was critical for a time, although the 
Afghans possessed only two guns. With this recent 
experience, it was surely unwise to match a weak brigade 
against Ayub's overwhelming numbers and overpowering 
artillery. Moreover, we learn that Burrows repeatedly 
asked Primrose for reinforcements, which were refused 
unjustifiably so in my opinion. Burrows was practically 
ordered to attack an overwhelming force, supported by 
a vastly superior artillery. On the field of battle he made 



the most of his force, which had no reserve, and in the 
retreat his gallantry and determination were noteworthy. 
The disaster certainly brought out the heroism dis- 
played by the 66th regiment. It reminds us vividly of 
Leonidas and his Spartans at Thermopylae, who charged 
the myriads of Persia and fought to the death : 

Go, stranger, and to Lacedaemon tell 
That here, obeying her behests, we fell. 

The Siege of Kandahar. As a result of the Maiwand 
disaster, the cantonment situated a mile to the west of 
the city was hastily evacuated. The garrison, some 3000 
strong, now occupied the city which, with its thick walls 
of rammed clay and its gates covered by bastions, was 
speedily made impregnable to any attack by Ayub Khan, 
more especially after the expulsion of the entire Pathan 
population, some 15,000 in number. Outside buildings 
that could give cover were gradually demolished, trees 
were felled, and a wire entanglement was constructed 
round the walls. 

Ayub Khan marches to Kandahar. On August 5 
the vanguard of Ayub's army reached the outskirts of 
Kandahar and, two days later, the entire force was con- 
centrated in a position near Old Kandahar to the west. 
An intermittent cannonade, which did little harm, was 
not followed up by an attack on the city. 

A Sortie from Kandahar. On August 15 an un- 
successful attack on the village of Deh Khoja was made 
from the Kabul Gate. This useless operation ended in 
heavy losses, including the death of Brigadier-General 

The Afghans take up a Position behind the Bab a Wall 
Kotal. On August 24 the Afghans were seen to have 
broken up their camp. They had heard of the approach 
of a powerful British force and of the proclamation of 
Abdur Rahman as Amir. A reconnaissance proved that 
they had taken up a position behind the Baba Wali Kotal 
and probably intended to fight the relieving force. Three 
days later communication with it was established. 

The March of Sir Frederick Roberts. Upon hearing 


the news of the Maiwand disaster it was decided to 
despatch a powerful column from Kabul under the com- 
mand of Roberts and, on August 8, it started off south- 
wards. The fact that Stewart had recently followed the 
same route and had inflicted a severe defeat on the 
Ghilzais lessened the chances of opposition, while the 
strong support of the Amir, who wrote letters to all 
the chiefs and sent his officials ahead to collect supplies, 
was of the greatest value. 

The march was uneventful. At Ghazni the Governor 
presented the keys of the city to Roberts, On August 1 7 
he received a letter from Colonel Tanner, who was com- 
manding at Kalat-i-Ghilzai, dated August 12. In it he 
reported that the Kandahar garrison on August 8 had 
two months' rations and fifteen days' forage in hand. 
Arriving at Kalat-i-Ghilzai, where supplies in abundance 
had been laid in, the force rested for a day. Roberts 
decided to add its garrison of 1000 men with 2 guns to 
his force. 

Upon reaching Tirandaz, thirty-one miles from Kalat- 
i-Ghilzai, on August 26, information was received from 
Kandahar that Ayub had retired to the Baba Wali Kotal, 
where he was entrenching. On August 28 the column 
reached Kobat, some nineteen miles from Kandahar. 
There it was decided to halt a day and to make two 
short marches into Kandahar. The men and animals 
were fatigued and sore-footed but the health of the force 
was excellent. St. John and the Assistant Quarter- 
Master-General met Roberts at Robat. He also received 
a letter from Major-General R. Phayre, who reported 
that his force, marching via Quetta, could not reach 
Kandahar before September 8. 

The Relief of Kandahar. On the last day of August 
Roberts relieved Kandahar. His force had marched 
313 miles in twenty-two days. The relieving column was 
given a subdued welcome. Indeed Roberts commented 
severely on the loss of moral displayed by the greater part 
of the garrison. He camped to the west of the city with 
his right on the deserted cantonment and his left touch- 
ing Old Kandahar. 


A Reconnaissance. On the day of his arrival at 
Kandahar, Roberts sent out a reconnaissance towards 
the high ground to the north-west, immediately above 
the villages of Gundigan and Murghan. There the 
infantry and guns were halted, while the cavalry, avoid- 
ing the numerous walled gardens, penetrated to the village 
of Pir Paimal situated at the north-west corner of the 
Baba Wali range. As soon as the fire of the enemy had 
been drawn, the cavalry retired. But the Afghans 
immediately advanced in considerable numbers and 
pressed the retiring force, so much so that the whole of 
the 3rd Brigade fell in to support it. 

The Decision to attack the Afghan Left. Roberts had 
satisfied himself that any attempt to carry the rugged 
Baba Wali Kotal by assault would involve heavy losses, 
and he thereupon decided to threaten that position and 
to concentrate his real attack on the Afghan left, which 
occupied the village and walled gardens of Pir Paimal. 
His force consisted of 3800 British and 11,000 Indian 
troops with 36 guns. The total of the Afghan force was 
probably less. The 3rd Infantry Brigade, which was to 
make the demonstration against the Baba Wali range, 
formed up on the right behind the low hills which 
covered the British camp, while the ist and 2nd Brigades, 
which were to make the main attack, were stationed on 
the left. The cavalry under Brigadier-General Hugh 
Gough, with horse artillery, formed up in rear of the left 
with instructions to work round by Gundigan so as to 
threaten the rear of Ayub's force and endanger its 
retreat towards the Helmand. The Kandahar foi?ce 
constituted a strong reserve. 

The Battle of Kandahar. At 9 A.M. fire was opened 
with the 45 pdrs. on the Kotal^ which was held in great 
strength by Ghazis. This feint having been successful 
in attracting the attention of the enemy, the 92nd High- 
landers and the 2nd Gurkhas carried the village of Mulla 
Sahibdad where the Ghazis resisted desperately. The 
enemy, holding Gundi Mulla and Gundigan, now fell 
back on the position at Pir Paimal, from which the 
advancing troops speedily drove them. 


To quote Roberts: " During the early part of the 
advance the Afghans collected in great strength on the 
low hills beneath the Baba Wali Kotal, evidently pre- 
paring for a rush on our guns; their leaders could be 
seen urging them on, and a portion of them came down 
the hill, but the main body apparently refused to follow, 
and remained on the crest until the position was turned, 
when they at once retreated 'V 

The capture of Pir Paimal opened the way to the 
strongly entrenched main position and here I quote from 
Major (afterwards Field-Marshal Sir George) White: 
" The enemy occupied a position in front of their camp; 
a long ditch afforded a good natural entrenchment; on 
the enemy's left of this ditch his position was prolonged 
by a commanding knoll, which enfiladed a ditch running 
up to the position. . . . Behind the ditch was a small 
square enclosure in which there were a considerable 
number of the enemy. Two of their guns were just to 
the left of it. ... I worked the men up to a charge 
which they executed in fine style. About five or six men 
were killed crossing the open, but I had the satisfaction 
of seizing the guns and Ayab's last position/' 2 On the 
extreme jpft, another charge by the 3rd Sikhs broke up a 
band of Afghans, who had gathered round three guns. 

The Flight of the Afghans. The defeated Afghan 
army quickly disappeared into the gardens and orchards, 
leaving to the victors their thirty guns, together with 
the two guns belonging to the Royal Horse Artillery 
which had been taken at Maiwand. The amazing 
rapidity of their retreat and the cover afforded by the 
walled orchards and villages prevented heavy losses being 
inflicted on the defeated enemy by the pursuing cavalry. 
The total casualties of the British force were 35 killed 
and 213 wounded, while that of the Afghans was 
estimated at about 1200 killed. 

Thus ended the battle of Kandahar which fully 
avenged Maiwand and relieved Kandahar. In view of 

1 Op. cit. vol. ii, pp. 365-368. There is a pen and ink sketch of the battle-field 
opposite p. 368. 

2 Life of Field-Marshal Sir George White^ by Sir Mortimer Durand, vol. i, p. 261. 


the great strength of the force under the command of 
Roberts, the fact that the Afghan losses at Maiwand had 
been severe and that only one-third of the tribesmen were 
armed with firearms, the victory was, humanly speaking, 
certain. Ayub Khan must have realized that he could 
not possibly defeat a force that was four times more 
powerful than that which he had beaten at Maiwand 
after suffering heavy losses among his own men, and we 
may justly pay a tribute to the courage of the Afghans 
who made such a determined stand against the war- 
hardened British troops led by Roberts. 

The March of Major-General Phayre. A brief account 
of the column which marched to the relief of Kandahar 
via Quetta is now called for. The news of the Maiwand 
disaster threw the whole country from Sibi to Chaman 
into a state of hostile turmoil. Phayre, who was in 
command of the Southern Afghan Field Force, organized 
a strong column and advanced in the face of constant 
attacks on his lines of communication; he also suffered 
from transport difficulties. Finally, when about a long 
march from the beleaguered city, he heard of the victory 
gained by Roberts and was instructed to station his troops 
wherever water and supplies were procurable. % Although 
his force was disappointed in their hopes of relieving 
Kandahar, its appearance on the scene undoubtedly 
strengthened the British position in Southern Afghanistan. 

Summary. To conclude, that great soldier Roberts 
had successfully accomplished his double task of avenging 
Maiwand and of relieving Kandahar. British honour was 
vindicated and British prestige, that invaluable asset of 
Empire, was restored, and on that note the Second 
Afghan War, by which Russian intrigues had been 
defeated and a strong ruler set on the throne of Afghani- 
stan, was brought to a successful conclusion* 



My Lords, the Key of India is not Herat or Kandahar. The Key of India 
is London. DISRAELI. 

The Position of Abdur Rahman as Amir of Kabul. 
Thanks to his invaluable autobiography, we can learn 
much as to how the Amir viewed the position of affairs 
after the departure of the British, He writes: " On my 
succeeding to the throne, and after the departure of the 
English from Kabul, I placed my foot in the stirrup of 
progress and administration. , . . The country exhibit- 
ing a rebellious spirit, I appointed private detectives and 
spies to report to me all that went on among the people, 
thus finding out with abundant proofs those who were 
loyal ancl friendly. . . . The ringleaders and worst 
offenders were the fanatical mullas and headstrong chiefs, 
who had been partisans of the late Shir Ali's family. . . . 
These were treated according to their actions, some of 
them being banished from the country, while others 
suffered the worst fate of all for their misdeeds/' He 
then pointed out two things: " There was firstly, no 
money to pay the army or for any other Government 
expenditure ; and secondly, there were no arms, ammuni- 
tion or military stores ". To quote again: " I have said 
before that when I first succeeded to the throne of Kabul, 
my life was not a bed of roses. On the contrary, I was 
surrounded by difficulties of all kinds. Here began my 
first severe fight, against my own relatives, my own 
subjects, and my own people. I had hardly settled down 
in Kabul, and had had no time for military preparations, 
when I found myself obliged to go to war/' 



The First Letter of Lord Ripon to the Atpir. On 
September 10, 1880, Lord Ripon wrote to the Amir to 
inform him of the victory of Lord Roberts at Kandahar 
and to congratulate him on the success with which he 
was consolidating his position at Kabul. This letter was 
the first to be written by the Viceroy to the Amir. It was 
reported that the Amir was intensely gratified at receiving 
it, and had said that " so long as no letter came to him 
from the Viceroy, it was to be surmised that there was a 
screen of estrangement isolating him from his Ex- 
cellency ". This recognition of his standing as an 
important ruler strengthened his position considerably, 
and he immediately wrote to Tashkent and instructed his 
family to rejoin him at Kabul. 

Negotiations for placing the Province of Kandahar under 
the Amir. The mutiny of the Walts troops at Girishk 
constituted a suitable peg on which to hang the change 
of policy prescribed by the Gladstone Government in 
June 1 880. The Foreign Secretary, Mr. (later Sir Alfred) 
Lyall, visited Kandahar and reported that since the Wall 
had not been asked to resume the Government of the 
country after the defeat of Ayub, it was clear that the 
situation had to be considered anew. The Wall finally 
accepted the offer of a liberal pension with gratitude and, 
leaving Afghanistan, settled in India. 

The ground having thus been cleared to some extent, 
negotiations were opened with a view to handing over 
the province to Abdur Rahman. They were not as easy 
as might have been expected. Abdur Rahman asked for 
a personal interview with the Viceroy, which was not 
granted, much to his disappointment. Again, the envoy 
whom he sent to India had no authority, except to take 
over supplies of arms and ammunition, which had been 
granted to him. As he aptly put it: " On the one hand, 
I considered the position in which I should be placed by 
accepting the city, a very serious one. I knew that Ayub 
was ready to attack the city immediately, without giving 
me any time for preparation for its defence. . . . On the 
other hand, the Kingdom of Kabul without Kandahar, 
was like a head without a nose, or a fort without any 


gate." After much correspondence in which he pressed 
for more money and more munitions, in March 1881, 
Abdur Rahman practically intimated to the Viceroy his 
acceptance of the province. Later, he received the 
additional gift of three batteries of artillery and of a 
number of rifles, together with a temporary grant of 
50,000 rupees -per mensem. 

The Position ofAyub Khan. After his severe defeat by 
Roberts, Ayub retired to Herat. In February 1881 two 
envoys were despatched by him to Kandahar.^ They 
represented that the Sirdar accepted the deposition of 
Yakub Khan, and considered himself his lawful successor, 
but that he would submit to the wishes of the British 
Government. No answer was given at first to the envoys, 
but on March 2 1 St. John informed them of the Amir's 
acceptance of Kandahar; and the envoys departed, with 
the advice to recommend Ayub to make terms with him. 

Abdur Rahman occupies Kandahar. In due course 
more than one hundred letters addressed by the Amir to 
Sirdars^ to Government officials and to leading mullas and 
merchants, were received at Kandahar. Troops followed 
and, on April 21, 1881, at noon, the British flag was 
hauled dywn under a salute of thirty-one guns. The 
transfer of authority to the Government of the Amir was 
quiet and orderly and, by April 27, all British troops had 
quitted Afghan soil. 

Ayub Khan again attacks Kandahar \ July 1881. The 
Amir, as he had anticipated, was not allowed to hold 
Kandahar without a struggle. To quote his autobiog- 
raphy: " He [Ayub] possessed better war materials and 
arms, and, above all, the ignorant mullas had proclaimed 
jihad against me. They alleged that I was friendly to 
the English, and that my rival was the Ghazi" ^ 

In the event, the two armies met near Girishk on 
July 20. Ayub's cavalry fled but about eighty heads and 
Chiefs of Ayub's army were left on the field, who, making 
a desperate charge, broke the army of Abdur Rahman, 
which fled. On August 7, Ayub Khan announced his 
occupation of the city in a letter to St. John, who recom- 
mended that he should be recognized as the de facto 


ruler of the province. The Government of India, how- 
ever, wisely awaited further developments. 

The Amir defeats Ayub Khan y September 22, 1881. 
The Amir acted with vigour and decision. Marching 
from Kabul at the head of his army, a battle was fought 
under the walls of Kandahar. To quote: " For two 
whole hours the fighting was very severe, and it was not 
known with whom was the victory. . . . My army was 
beginning to fall back a little on its right and left, but 
the main force in the centre was working well under the 
encouragement I gave it by my presence. At this 
moment, when I had pushed well forward, Ayub's forces 
began to show signs of weakness, and these four regiments 
of my own infantry, which had submitted to Ayub at 
the time of their former defeat at Girishk, changed their 
mind. It had been the usual custom of the trained soldiers 
before my reign began that the moment they saw one 
party stronger than the other, they left the weak and 
joined the strong. These four regiments therefore, 
seeing that the victory was turning in my direction, at 
once fired at that body of Ayub's army, which was fighting 
hard with my forces." 

Ayub Khan was utterly routed and, for tjie second 
time, lost his guns and camp equipage at Kandahar. To 
quote again: " One of the priests who had accused me 
of infidelity had hidden himself under the Prophet's 
robe. 1 I ordered that an impure-minded dog such as 
he should not remain in that sacred sanctuary; he was 
accordingly pulled out of the building, and I killed him 
with my own hands." Did not Lyall write 

And they eye me askance, the Mullahs, the bigots who preach and pray, 
Who followed my march with curses till I scattered Ayub that day; 
They trusted in texts and forgot that the chooser of Kings is the sword; 
There are twenty now silent and stark, for I showed them the ways of 
the Lord. 

The Capture of Herat. The Amir had realized that 
Herat was very weakly held in the absence of Ayub, 
and had ordered one of his adherents, Abdul Kuddus 

1 This khirka, or robe, kept in a room, afforded bast or sanctuary to any criminal or 



Khan, to occupy it. This was effected without much 
difficulty, the Herat troops submitting when led out 
to fight his troops. Abdur Rahman thus became undis- 
puted ruler of Afghanistan with the exception of the tiny 
Uzbeg state of Maimena, which was occupied later on. 

The Final Settlement of Ayub Khan in India. After 
his defeat, Ayub Khan, accompanied by several influential 
Sirdars and followers, reached Meshed in January 1882. 
He was granted an allowance by the Shah on condition 
that he should not live in any of the districts bordering 
Afghanistan. This did not suit his plans for fomenting 
troubles in that country, and for some years he continued 
to behave in an unreasonable manner, which caused both 
the British and Persian Governments much trouble. At 
the end of August 1887 he suddenly fled from Tehran, 
where he had been residing for some time, and made a 
bold but unsuccessful attempt to reach Herat. He was 
pursued by Afghan cavalry and, after remaining in close 
hiding, finally surrendered to the British Consul-General 
at Meshed. There, after much bargaining as to allow- 
ances, the entire party, aggregating 814 officers, soldiers, 
women, children and servants, were sent across Persia 
and r^ac^ed Rawalpindi in the early summer of 1888. 
At that military centre I recollect seeing Ayub Khan and 
being struck by his virile hawklike features; also, when 
I was Consul-General in Khurasan some years later, the 
older members of the staff had much to say about Ayub 
Khan and the trouble he gave them. 

The Question of Sibi and Peshin. Before concluding 
this chapter, it is desirable to refer briefly to the arrange- 
ments made for Sibi, which is a continuation of the Kutchi 
Plain and is detached from the country under Afghan 
rule. Similarly Peshin is geographically part of Quetta, 
being cut off from the Kandahar province by the Khojak 

We owe to the statesmanlike foresight of Sir Robert 
Sandeman, that great Warden of the Marches, the pro- 
posal made in January 1879 that these two districts 
should be separated from Afghanistan. The Foreign 
Secretary, at this period, informed Cavagnari that Sibi 


and Peshin should be excluded from the Amir's authority, 
but Yakub Khan strongly opposed this resolve, with the 
result that, as mentioned in Chapter XXXVIII, it was 
agreed to treat the two districts as " assigned " districts. 
The Government of India had urged the Secretary of 
State to agree that the retention of Sibi and Peshin should 
be included among the provisions of the Treaty of 
Gandamak. In 1880, however, the British Government 
decided against the retention of Peshin, but, in the follow- 
ing year, their relinquishment was ordered to be post- 
poned. Finally, convinced by the strong arguments of 
the Government of India, in 1887 it was decided to 
incorporate the two districts within the Indian Empire. 
Today Sibi and Peshin are recognized as being of 
importance in the frontier defences of the Indian Empire. 

The Results of the Second Afghan War. The evacua- 
tion of Kandahar, followed by the overthrow of Ayub 
and its occupation by Abdur Rahman, closed a period 
and affords an opportunity for summarizing the results 
of the Second Afghan War. 

The Khaibar Pass, that great highway from India 
to Kabul, had been taken over and the tribesmen enlisted 
as road guards. Unfortunately, however, in tjje Qpinion 
of many frontier officers, we did not retain Dakka and the 
whole of the Mohmand country. The division of this 
turbulent tribe between India and Afghanistan has caused 
many expeditions with their attendant loss of life and 
property which might have been obviated, had the above 
arrangement been made. Further south, the British re- 
tained the Kurram Valley, which constituted an important 
alternative route into Afghanistan, while the loyalty of 
the Turis, who were Shias and were thus hated by their 
fanatical Sunni neighbours, was assured. Of far greater 
importance was the occupation of Quetta, with the 
districts of Peshin and Sibi, which constitutes one of the 
strongest strategical positions in Asia. Communications 
were rapidly improved and, before very long, not only 
did the railway reach Quetta by two different routes, but 
the Khojak range was pierced and the railway extended 
to New Chaman, thus placing Kandahar, which would 


have to be occupied in case of an invasion of India from 
the north, within a few easy marches over a level plain. 

A Tribute to Abdur Rahman. Studying the question 
some fifty years after these dramatic events, it strikes me 
that Abdur Rahman should have been given more time 
and greater financial assistance to organize and equip his 
army before being pressed to take over Kandahar, more 
especially in view of the fact that Ayub had considerable 
influence and was a doughty warrior. Had Ayub Khan 
defeated his rival at Kandahar, Afghanistan would, once 
again, have been thrown into a state of anarchy. That he 
did not do so, represents the greatness of our debt to 
grim Abdur Rahman. Thanks to his services, Afghani- 
stan was reunited into a kingdom under a resolute ruler 
who, if not always friendly to the British, at any rate 
realized that it would be folly to turn to Russia. The facts 
of the changed situation were recognized by the order or 
the Viceroy that Abdur Rahman should thenceforth be 
styled the " Amir of Afghanistan and its Dependencies ". 



Whose was the provocation is a matter of the utmost consequence. We 
only know that the attack was a Russian attack. We know that the Afghans 
suffered in life, in spirit, and in repute. We know that a blow was struck at 
the credit and the authority of a sovereign our protected ally who had 
committed no offence. All I say is, we cannot in that state of affairs close this 
book and say " We will look into it no more ". We must do our best to have 
right done in the matter. GLADSTONE. 

The Anxiety of the Amir about his Northern Frontier. 
The relations of the Government of India with Abdur 
Rahman, whose demands for munitions and money 
seemed to be insatiable, became difficult from time to 
time. However, due allowances were made for him, and 
the appointment of an Afghan Envoy at Calcutta and of a 
British Agent at Kabul somewhat eased the situation. 

The Amir had, to some extent, restored law ancf order 
in Afghanistan, but only by stationing his troops at 
various centres; and he had no force available for the 
protection of his frontiers. As he wrote to the Viceroy 
in October 1882: " I think it high time to have the 
question of my boundaries settled with such a powerful 
enemy as Russia, through the good offices of the British 
Government. . . . The troops I have collected serve only 
like the officials of a police force in their respective cities 
and are engaged in guarding their own countrymen. . . . 
Should I augment the army, where is the money to come 
from to defray its expenses? And if I do not augment it, 
how will the frontiers be put in order? My affairs are 
hanging by a fine gossamer thread, which cannot sup- 
port a heavy weight. " 

Ripon postponed sending an immediate reply to this 
letter but, in February 1883, he renewed the assurance 



given in July 1 8 80, against unprovoked foreign aggression, 
to which communication the Amir responded in an 
effusively grateful manner, stating that he had now 
obtained the assurances he desired. It is quite likely that 
he had not kept the letter addressed to him in July 1 880! 

The Grant of an Annual Subsidy. In February 1883 
the Amir marched to Jalalabad with a large force and 
asked his envoy to arrange an interview with the British 
authorities. He wished to negotiate a treaty, thus resum- 
ing a project, which he had taken up two years previously 
and had subsequently dropped. A misunderstanding, 
caused by his envoy carelessly omitting to forward the 
reply of the Viceroy to this request, created much sore 
feeling. However, the grant of twelve lakhs of rupees 
annually, which was made to Abdur Rahman for the 
payment of his troops and the defence of his frontier, 
effectually cured his resentment. 

The Views of Lord Ripon. Ripon realized that if the 
Amir was unable to maintain peace on his borders before 
the Russian and Afghan boundaries became contermin- 
ous, the position would be critical, and that such a situation 
might arise at any time. He considered that a treaty with 
Russia was preferable, and that the grant of a subsidy 
was only necessitated by the refusal of the British Govern- 
ment to entertain the proposal. 

In his letter to Abdur Rahman, in which the offer of 
the subsidy was made, Ripon wrote sympathetically of 
the exceptional difficulties with which he was faced on his 
northern frontier. He also emphasized the declarations 
previously given of support against unprovoked attack. 
For reply, Abdur Rahman expressed his entire satisfac- 
tion and reaffirmed his loyalty to his pledges. He stated 
that he no longer desired an interview with the British 
authorities. He had gained what he wanted for the time 
being through their far-sighted generosity. 

The increasing Anxiety of Abdur Rahman at the Russian 
Advance. In spite of the support he was receiving from 
India, the continual and rapid advance of Russia naturally 
caused the Amir grave anxiety. He could not despatch 
well-armed troops to meet a Russian attack, nor had he 


any confidence in the loyalty or integrity of his officials 
in the Herat province which, partly owing to its distance 
from Kabul, was less under his control and remained dis- 
contented. Moreover, during this period, the intrigues 
of Ayub Khan constituted an additional source of anxiety. 

The Views of the Government of India. Mr (later Sir 
Mortimer) Durand, who was Indian Foreign Secretary, 
summed up the situation in January 1884: " The only 
statesmanlike course is to endeavour to come to a really 
frank and friendly understanding with the Power which 
we have hitherto tried in vain in a half-hearted way to 
thwart and impede. I would, if possible, embody that 
understanding in a formal treaty, precisely defining the 
limits of Afghanistan . . . and recognizing the extension 
of Russian influence up to those limits." 

Again, his diary of July 23 runs: " The Russian 
question has assumed an altogether new phase. We sent 
home a telegram and then despatches recommending the 
delimitation of the Afghan frontier, and the idea was well 
received. But in the meantime the Russians occupied 
Merv, then pushed up the valley of the Murghab and 
finally seized Sarakhs in defiance of Persian protest." l 

Lack of Geographical Knowledge by the British. At 
that time the British possessed no definite knowledge as 
to the exact boundaries of Northern Afghanistan. The 
Amir did not help matters since he appeared to take little 
interest in Persian encroachments in Badghis, which were 
reported to him, while he was sending troops to the trans- 
Oxus districts of Shignan and Roshan, which, by the 
Agreement of 1873, ^7 outside Afghanistan. Thus the 
British position was unsatisfactory, and of this Russia took 
the fullest advantage. 

Lord Ripon advises the Amir. In March 1884, the 
Viceroy explained to the Amir the unwisdom of his 
action in sending troops across the Oxus into Roshan 
and Shignan, which contravened the Agreement of 
1873. ^ e next referred to the fact that Persian troops 
had been stationed in the Afghan district of Badghis, at 
posts some twenty miles east of the Hari Rud in the 

1 Sykes, Sir Mortimer Durand, p. 135. 


previous summer, but had been withdrawn in the winter. 
He advised the Amir that the Hari Rud constituted the 
Perso-Afghan boundary in this section and urged His 
Highness to occupy the district with troops. It is, of 
course, clear that the Amir, who knew Afghan Turkistan 
and Badakhshan intimately, was keen on advances in that 
area, while his ignorance of the Herat area led to his 
unfortunate display of apathy as to Persian encroachments 
in Badghis. 

Appointment of British and Russian Commissioners. 
In May 1884 it was agreed between the two Powers 
that Commissioners should be appointed, rechercher les 
elements, to quote the French text, of a frontier line satis- 
factory to both Powers. General Sir Peter Lumsden and 
General Zelenoi were appointed Commissioners, while 
Colonel (later Sir West) Ridgeway led that portion of 
the British Commission which was appointed by India, 
to ensure that its views should receive full weight. The 
survey party and escort were necessarily supplied by 
India. 1 

The March of the Indian Section of the Commission. 
The march of the Indian section of the Commission, con- 
sisting of 1600 men, 1600 camels and some 300 horses 
across *a mainly desert route, hundreds of miles in length, 
from Quetta via Nushki to the Helmand and thence north- 
ward to Kushan, was an arduous task. The route had 
never been explored and the laying out of supplies and 
water depended partly on the Amir, who had, at first, 
refused to be responsible for the safety of the mission. 
However, this was assured, so far as any local trouble 
was concerned, by the escort of 200 cavalry and a similar 
force of infantry, and the Indian party joined Lumsden 
at Kushan in November without having had a single shot 
fired at them. 

Unsatisfactory Delays. Lumsden, upon reaching the 
frontier, was informed that the arrangement by which 
work should start immediately was impossible owing to 
the alleged ill-health of the Russian Commissioner and 

1 In Sykes, Sir Mortimer Durand y ch. x, the whole question of the Commission is 
fully dealt with. 



that the negotiations would have to be postponed until 
the spring. 

The Policy of Russia in Central Asia supported by 
Germany. Before dealing with events which led to the 
Panjdeh crisis, it seems desirable to study how the posi- 
tion in Central Asia was affected by events in Europe. 
Lord Granville was much exercised by the advance of 
Russia, and to quote his biographer: " These events in 
Central Asia coincided with the failure of the expedition to 
relieve General Gordon, and the interruption of the cordial 
relations which had existed between Great Britain 
and Germany. After the death of General Gordon, 
the Government narrowly escaped defeat on a motion 
of censure in the House of Commons. The majority 
fell to twelve. " To quote again: " It was certain in 
Lord Granville's opinion that, as long as the Liberal 
Government was in power, one question after another 
in every quarter of the world would be stirred up to the 
detriment of the country by Prince Bismarck. Although 
at the time all the facts were not fully known even at the 
Foreign Office, the situation had been correctly appreci- 
ated by Lord Granville as a whole. It hinged on the 
secret treaty of neutrality which, in 1 884, Prince Bismarck 
had concluded with Russia, without the knowledge and 
behind the backs of the other parties to the Triple 
Alliance. Russia interpreted this treaty as giving her a 
free hand in Asia, and Prince Bismarck gave a tacit 
approval, as part of the new policy, to a system of per- 
sistent annoyance against Great Britain." I 

The Russian Advance on the Panjdeh Oasis. To 
return to Lumsden, the unsatisfactory delay in com- 
mencing work was rendered more serious by the receipt 
of information that General Kamaroff, Governor of the 
Akhal Oasis, and Colonel Alikhanoff, Governor of Merv, 
had marched up the Murghab River towards the Panjdeh 
Oasis where an Afghan General with a force of 100 
cavalry, 400 infantry and two guns was established. 
When about a stage distant from Panjdeh, Komaroff 
with the main body of the troops marched back to Merv, 

1 Vide The Life of Lord Granville^ by Lord Edmond Fitzmaurice, vol. ii, p. 4.22. 



(From sketches by Sir Edward Durand} 


but Alikhanoff sent a messenger to the Afghan leader, 
with a request for an interview. This request was 
refused, and Alikhanoff, after despatching a threatening 
letter, withdrew. 

Lumsden visited Panjdeh and reported that Afghan 
control was complete and that taxes were being levied. 
Actually the Sarik Turkoman of this oasis had been 
independent of Afghanistan and there was justification 
for the Russian claim that they should, like the other 
sections of the tribe, be included in the Russian Empire. 
The Afghans had only recently appeared on the scene to 
stake out claims. 

In February 1885 the Russians marched on the 
Panjdeh Oasis. They drove in the Afghan posts from 
the north of the oasis and established a post of Sarik 
Turkoman from Yulatan, at Kizil Tapa, a mound 
situated about one mile to the north-west of the Pul-i- 
Khisti or " Brick Bridge " which spanned the Kushk 
River half a mile above its junction with the Murghab. 
These Turkoman, as was evidently intended, intrigued 
with their fellow- tribesmen in the Panjdeh Oasis, and 
thus threatened the rear of the Afghan force, while it 
was pj;ob|ibly hoped that they would provoke an incident 
with the Afghan pickets situated on the left bank of the 
Kushk River in front of the bridge. 

The Panjdeh Crisis. Ridgeway, 1 who was at this time 
in Panjdeh, protested, but received a reply from Alikhanoff 
that his instructions were " to occupy the country as far 
as the Pul-i-Khishti ; once established there he would 
neither advance nor fight ". Unfortunately Lumsden had 
informed Lord Granville that the Russians had a post at 
the Pul-i-Khisti, whereas it was at Kizil Tapa, barely a 
mile distant. The mistake was a slight one, but it gave 
the Russians a pretext of which they took the fullest 

On March 25, Komaroff again appeared on the scene 
with a strong force of all arms and camped at Kizil Tapa, 
Yate, on the previous day, had received a copy of Gran- 

1 I have discussed every detail of the Panjdeh question with Sir West Ridgeway and 
Sir Charles Yate. 


ville's cable that the two Governments had agreed that 
there should be no forward movement on either side from 
the positions then occupied. The Russians, however, 
after movements of a provocative nature, issued an 
ultimatum to the Afghan general, requiring that " every 
single man of your force shall return to within your 
former lines on the right bank of the River Kushk ". The 
Afghan General declared that the Pul-i-Khisti was his 
" Bridge of Heaven ", and that he would fight for it to 
the death. 

The Russians defeat the Afghans. The die was cast, 
and, early on March 30, the Russians attacked the Afghan 
force, which had been considerably strengthened, and 
drove it across the bridge and from the oasis. Their 
weapons were useless, as the priming was damp from the 
rain, and their losses were very heavy. There was no 
pursuit, but the Russians annexed the Panjdeh Oasis by 
proclamation and, needless to say, the British suffered 
severely in prestige. 

The Visit of the Amir to India. At that time the Amir 
was paying a visit to Lord Dufferin at Rawalpindi. The 
honours that were accorded to him, including a welcome 
by H.R.H. the Duke of Connaught, created a favourable 
atmosphere, although with true Afghan suspicion 'he 
refused to use the telephone that had been installed, 
stoutly maintaining that he could not distinguish a single 
word on it. He considered it to be a spying machine! 

As to the Panjdeh crisis, Durand wrote: " The Amir 
took it very coolly. We received the news about dinner- 
time, and I drove at once to tell him of the slaughter of 
his people and the wounding and death of his general. 
He begged me not to be troubled. He said that the loss 
of two hundred or two thousand men was a mere nothing 
and, as for the general, that was less than nothing. After- 
wards he pretended to take the business as an affront 
only to be wiped out by the blood of many thousand 
Russians; but his first feeling was certainly one of 
indifference. " l 

Lord Dufferin described the Amir as " a prince of 

1 Op. c/V. p. 146. 


frank and even bluff, yet courteous manners; quite at his 
ease amid a crowd of foreigners ; speaking pleasantly of 
the first railway journey he had ever undertaken ; a man 
of some humour in jokes, with a face occasionally crossed 
by a look of implacable severity the look of Louis XI 
or Henry VIII that is now never seen in civilized life ". 
Elsewhere he stated: " But for the accidental circum- 
stances of the Amir being in my camp at Rawalpindi, 
and the fortunate fact of his being a prince of great 
capacity, experience, and calm judgment, the incident at 
Panjdeh alone, in the strained condition of the relations 
which then existed between Russia and ourselves, might 
of itself have proved the occasion of a long and miserable 


The Settlement of the Panjdeh Crisis. The feeling 
aroused in Great Britain was intense. Gladstone demanded 
a vote of 1 1,000,000, a great sum in those days, for war 
preparations, and it was declared that a Russian advance 
on Herat would constitute a casus belli. Fortunately 
Granville and de Giers agreed that negotiations should 
be continued in London and that the Panjdeh Oasis 
should, in the meanwhile, be neutralized. Thus ended 
the Panjdeh incident in which a Russian general, anxious 
to secure *for Russia an oasis inhabited by Sarik Turkoman, 
and unwilling to await the decision of the Commission, 
took advantage of a quibble to attack the miserably 
armed but valiant Afghans. He thereby nearly pre- 
cipitated a war that would have seriously weakened both 
belligerents and would probably have resulted in the 
ultimate hegemony of Germany. 

Sir Peter Lumsden's Recommendations. On April 23, 
Lumsden telegraphed to Granville pointing out that if 
the Commission were appointed to demarcate the alleged 
frontier, its position would be most humiliating in the 
eyes of the Afghans, Sariks and Uzbegs. He added that, 
for the present Commission, which had been so much 
affronted, to have any relations with Russian officers 
would be most undesirable. Accordingly he proposed 
that the definite limits of Afghanistan should be fixed at 
hdme on the reports and surveys which had been made. 


These proposals were accepted; Lumsden was recalled, 
while Ridgeway was left in charge of the Commission. 

The Fortification of Herat. The Amir had been 
repeatedly pressed to repair the fortifications of Herat, 
but it was not without difficulty that British officers were 
admitted to that city, thus amply confirming the Amir's 
views that they would resent British assistance. Ridge- 
way, after the completion of some defence works, reported 
that Herat could not stand a siege for more than a month 
or so and that, in case of war, he was strongly opposed 
to the Mission taking refuge in that city. 

The Russo-Ajghan Boundary Commission. In Septem- 
ber 1885 the definition of the frontier was settled by 
Lord Salisbury (who, in July 1885, had succeeded Mr. 
Gladstone as Prime Minister) and the Russian Ambas- 
sador. In November, Ridgeway met Colonel Kuhlberg, 
the Russian Commissioner, at Zulfikar Pass, There they 
erected the first two pillars which, twenty-five years later, 
I sighted from the Persian bank of the Hari Rud, glisten- 
ing white in the rays of the setting sun. 

The long delay while awaiting instructions from home 
had not been wasted by the British surveyors under Major 
(later Sir Thomas) Holdich, whose triangulation was 
readily accepted by the Russian Commissioner. Frbm 
Zulfikar Pass to the Murghab, both parties had already 
traversed the ground, which was practically known as 
far as Maruchak. In spite of the Protocol the Russians 
claimed a large area which would have brought them 
appreciably nearer to Herat, while the Afghan representa- 
tive, who served a very harsh master, naturally fought 
hard for local grazing grounds. Moreover, the Amir 
was undoubtedly permitting his officials to have direct 
correspondence with Russian officials. However, in 
spite of constant reference by the two Commissioners to 
their respective Governments, the work proceeded 
steadily, while the personal relations of the two camps 
remained excellent throughout. 

Beyond Maruchak the Mission entered the intricate 
maze of clay and sandhills known as Choi, which spread 
out towards Maimana, Andkhui and the Oxus. To quote 


Holdich: " A wild, white, silent wilderness of untrodden 
snow; a thin, blue line of jagged hills in the far distance; 
a deep, intensely deep, canopy of blue sky above, and the 
glare of the sunlight off the snowfields. Such was the 
daily record." l 

The Question of Khamiab and Khwaja Salar. A 
serious dispute arose about Khamiab on the Oxus. It was 
mainly due to the acceptance in the Boundary Agreement 
between the two Governments of Khwaja Salar as a ferry 
on the Oxus which was to constitute the termination of 
the boundary. The ferry undoubtedly existed when 
Burnes mentioned it some fifty years before the Agree- 
ment was drawn up, but it had disappeared and been 
forgotten. Ridgeway identified it with Islam, situated 
some fourteen miles above Khamiab, a district inhabited 
by an Afghan population that had paid revenue to 
Afghanistan for a generation. Having examined the 
question locally he returned to England, instructions 
having been received to sign the maps and Protocol as 
far as Dukchi, a distance of 330 miles to the east of 
Zulfikar Pass, and to leave the dispute in question to be 
settled between the two Governments. 

Ridgeway 's Successful Settlement with Russia. After 
reporting in London, Ridgeway was sent to St. Petersburg 
as British Commissioner, to negotiate terms. He found 
the military party adverse to a settlement, which put a 
definite limit to their forward policy. Fortunately, how- 
ever, he was received by the Tsar, and to quote his letter 
to Durand: " I was positively shocked when I came home 
the first time from St. Petersburg to find that Lord 
Salisbury and his Cabinet wished to let the whole thing 
slide. ... It was only when I assured the Cabinet, staking 
everything on it, that the Emperor intended to come to 
a settlement, that they agreed to let the negotiations go 
on. Lord Salisbury's last words to me were: * The 
demarcation is not worth the paper it is written on, but 
as you have begun, you had better finish it, if you can V * 

In spite of these pessimistic words, Ridgeway in- 
duced the Russians to accept compensation for Khamiab 

1 The Indian Borderland^ p. 153. a Sykcs, Life of Durand^ p. 148. 


on the Oxus, in the neighbourhood of Kushk. Finally, 
he was able to report that " The Amir has not lost a 
penny of revenue, a single subject, or an acre of land 
which was occupied or cultivated by any Afghan subject ". 
He certainly merited the gratitude of Great Britain, of 
India, and of the Amir. 

The Signature of the Final Protocols in July and August 
1887. The final Protocols dealing with the Russo- 
Afghan boundary from the Hari Rud to the Oxus were 
signed in 1887. This Agreement was strengthened by 
the frank declaration of the British Government that a 
movement on Herat would constitute a casus belli. De 
Giers stated that it was clear that Afghanistan lay within 
the sphere of British influence and observed with much 
emphasis, " C'est la parole de rEmpereur que vous avez, 
non seulement la mienne ". 

Contrary to general expectation at the period, this 
frontier, laid down some fifty years ago, has been respected, 
and its settlement on fair and honourable lines, in spite of 
the crisis which it occasioned, undoubtedly improved 
relations between the British and Russian Empires, while 
the Amir probably realized that his interests had been 
safeguarded, albeit he was most chary in making acknow- 
ledgements of services rendered to him. It remains* to 
add that the Tsar and his advisers considered the line of 
least resistance lay towards China with the result that, in 
1892, the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway was 



Frontiers are the chief anxiety of nearly every Foreign Office in the civilized 
world, and are the subject of four out of five political treaties or contentions 
that are now concluded. . . . Frontier policy is of the first practical importance, 
and has a more profound effect upon the peace or warfare of nations than any 
other factor, political or economic. LORD CURZON. 

British Relations with the Amir under Lord Lansdowne. 
The behaviour of the Amir was unsatisfactory from 
many points of view when Lord Lansdowne assumed 
office in December 1888. He had agreed to receive 
a British Mission and, in September, Sir Mortimer 
Durand was nominated to proceed to Kabul in charge of 
it. But His Highness, who had been seriously ill during 
the summer, was fully occupied with the rebellion of 
Ishak Khan and, after considerable procrastination, 
rep'lid^: f< It is a thing which must take place, but at the 
proper time ". 

Lord Lansdowne } s Rebuke to the Amir. Somewhat 
unfortunately, the new Viceroy rebuked the Amir for 
the cruel manner in which he had punished the rebels in 
Afghan Turkistan. Abdur Rahman considered this to 
be interference with his internal administration. He 
bitterly resented it and never forgave it. 

The Amir attempts to open up direct correspondence with 
London. Probably, owing to his dislike of the Viceroy's 
action, in 1892, Abdur Rahman attempted to open up 
direct communication with Her Majesty's Government, 
but without success. He also announced his intention 
of visiting England, but was informed that he must first 
visit the Viceroy. The Amir was naturally deeply 
mortified at the failure of these two cherished projects. 

Summary of the Relations with the Amir in 1892. It 



seems desirable at this point to summarize the attitude of 
the Amir in the most important questions which con- 
cerned him and the British Government. First of these 
was the fact that he treated the British Agent at Kabul 
almost as a prisoner and did not even permit his brothers 
to visit him. In fact, he was cut off from all intercourse. 1 
Even after the Amir's visit to India, there was no change 
in this attitude, the Agent being miserably lodged and 
practically forbidden to ride or walk on the public roads. 

With regard to other matters, the Amir permitted the 
cemeteries at Kabul and Kandahar to be desecrated. 
Moreover, the proclamations he issued to his subjects 
displayed hostility alike to Russia and to Great Britain. 
Again, by inordinately heavy taxation and by numerous 
monopolies, he had ruined the trade of the country both 
with India and with Russia, while he had killed or banished 
practically every man of rank or influence in the country, 
and was especially hostile to anyone who had assisted the 
British in any manner. Moreover, the Amir had per- 
sisted in holding territory to the north of the Oxus in 
defiance of the Anglo-Russian Agreement of 1873, while 
his foolish proclamations of hostility to Russia exposed 
himself and the British to the risk of serious complications. 

The Claims of Abdur Rahman on Jandol and \lhitraL 
To turn to the North- West Frontier: it had always been 
the view of the Government of India that Chitral, Bajaur 
and Swat formed no part of the dominion of Afghanistan. 
This view had been firmly stated in 1861 when Dost 
Muhammad advanced claims to Bajaur; and in 1877 
Shir AH was warned that any interference with Bajaur, 
Swat, Dir and Chitral would constitute a contravention 
of the treaty engagement. 

Abdur Rahman, however, having been permitted to 
incorporate Kunar into his kingdom, occupied Asmar, a 
little district further up the Kunar Valley. In spite of 
remonstrances, he refused to give up Asmar and threatened 
to chastise Umra Khan of Jandol if he troubled the 

1 As late as 1908, when I was Consul-General in Khurasan, the British Agent at 
Herat was spied upon and was unable to leave his house, except to pay an occasional visit to 
the Governor. 


district. Since the Amir placed his boundary at a point 
some twenty-five miles above Asmar, he would, if this 
claim were admitted, be within some thirty or forty miles 
of the capital of Chitral, while the independence of 
Chitral, Jandol and other districts of Bajaur would be 
seriously threatened. Apart from military pressure, by 
use of money, the dissensions of the various Khans would 
gradually, but inevitably, bring about the loss of the 
independence of Chitral and Bajaur; so short-sighted 
were their Chiefs. 

The Intrigues of the Amir with the Afridis. Continuing 
our survey southwards, the aggressive action of Abdur 
Rahman in his relations with the Afridis was particularly 
marked. Although, in 1883, he had written: " The 
Afridi country lies in British territory ", his efforts to 
win over the mullas and influential men were unceasing. 
In view of the fact that Afridi levies guarded the Khaibar 
Pass and enlisted in large numbers in the Indian army, 
this attitude, and his open claim to be their King, con- 
stituted a serious position. 

The Question of the Kurram Valley. In 1880, when 
Kurram was evacuated by the British troops, the Turis, 
who belong to the Shia sect, and had rendered the British 
valuable 'service, were promised their independence, 
subject to their good behaviour. As was to be expected, 
the Amir, who fully realized the strategical importance of 
the valley, tried to make the position of the Turis unbear- 
able, by raids followed by occupation of the northern 
part of their territory by a notorious freebooter, termed 
Chikkai. As a result the British were obliged to send 
troops into the valley to restore order. 

The Importance of the Wazir Country. Continuing 
the survey, the Wazir country, which faces the Kabul- 
Kandahar route, is traversed by two very important 
passes, the Tochi and the Gumal, which are used by 
thousands of Afghan tribesmen in their annual migrations 
to and from the plains of India. The Gumal route was 
held by levy posts of Mahsud Wazirs, but the Amir had 
stationed at Wana, situated at the western extremity of 
the Gumal, some officials who tried to induce the headmen 


to ask for his protection. Here again a British force had 
perforce been sent into the Gumal Pass to maintain order 
and to reassure the Mahsud headmen. 

The Question of Chagai. Abdur Rahman, as we have 
seen, spent some days in the district of Chagai after his 
flight from Afghanistan. It is situated 150 miles to the 
south of the Helmand, from which it is separated by a 
wide stretch of desert, termed the Lut, and was always 
considered to belong to the desert state of Kharan which 
state rendered allegiance to the Khan of Kalat. The 
Amir had occupied Chagai, in May 1886, and refused 
to vacate it. 

The Grievances of the Amir. It is only fair to state 
that, during this period, the British were steadily advanc- 
ing, opening up the passes of the North- West Frontier 
and guarding them with local levies. But, chief among 
these grievances, was the fact that the Khojak range had 
been tunnelled and a railway station and fort built at 
New Chaman, which pointed at Kandahar. The Amir 
somewhat crudely termed this advance as " running an 
awl into his navel ", while a shrewd British navvy was 
heard to remark: " Well, I don't think that 'ere 'ole was 
made thro' the 'ill to peep thro'." Moreover, at this 
period, there was a scheme in existence for the construc- 
tion of a railway from Quetta to Seistan, which might 
have passed through Chagai. 

The Amir's riposte to the railway extension, which 
had much upset his subjects, was to order his merchants, 
under pain of death, to ignore the railway station at 
Chaman and take their camel caravans to the first station 
beyond the range; while the marked increase of Ghazi 
outrages in Baluchistan at that period was probably 
instigated from Kabul. 

The Proposal to send Lord Roberts to Kabul. In July 
1892, Lansdowne proposed to the Amir to send Lord 
Roberts on a Mission with a powerful escort of all 
arms. The reaction of the Amir to this proposal runs: 
" I considered the position very critical, to receive 10,000 
soldiers, whom I was expected to receive as my guests. I 
had therefore to prepare 100,000 to receive them." It 


was indeed hardly likely that the Amir would care to 
receive the victor of the Paiwar Kotal and of Kandahar 
at the head of an army. Accordingly, while expressing 
his pleasure at the proposal, he said that he could not 
fix a date until the Hazara rebellion had been crushed. 
He also employed an attack of gout and all the arts of 
Oriental diplomacy to procrastinate, being aware that 
Roberts would soon leave India, upon completion of 
his period of command. 

Mr. (later Sir S alter] Pyne visits Simla. The situation 
remained as unsatisfactory as possible, and the British hav- 
ing detained a large consignment of munitions, ordered 
from Europe by the Amir, he decided to send Pyne, his 
trustworthy English engineer, to Simla. There Pyne 1 
stated frankly that the Amir considered Durand to be 
his personal enemy and that the Viceroy had, owing to 
his Foreign Secretary's hostility, become unsympathetic. 
He also pointed out the rapid occupation by the British 
of various districts bordering on Afghanistan, whose 
inhabitants had formerly looked to Kabul. 

Pyne was given full opportunities of making himself 
acquainted with recent events on the Afghan frontier, 
and in, particular with the intrigues of various Afghan 
officials with frontier tribes, which had created trouble 
between the Amir and the Government of India. 

The Durand Mission, 1893. Pyne's Mission was 
most successful. He explained to the Amir that the 
Government of India was reasonable in its attitude and 
that he was entirely mistaken as to Durand, who was his 
friend and well-wisher. This led to the proposal by 
Lansdowne that Durand should be sent on a Mission to 
Kabul, which proposal was cordially accepted by Abdur 

The Mission, which assembled at Landi Kotal, was 
met on the frontier by Ghulam Haidar Khan, the Com- 
mander-in-Chief and an escort of cavalry. Treated with 
lavish hospitality, upon reaching Kabul, it was given a 

1 Pyne, a clerk in a Bombay firm, was sent to Kabul with a consignment of goods. 
There he attracted the attention of the Amir, who gave him the contract for the erection 
of an arsenal and, when it was completed, placed him in charge of it. 


splendid reception, " a salute of twenty-one guns being 
fired, bands playing ' God save the Queen ' and fanfares 
of trumpets being sounded at every corner ".' 

The Reception of the Mission. Durand writes of the 
Amir: " He really seemed very well, much better than 
in 1885, though thinner. But the great change is in his 
manner. I looked in vain for my old acquaintance of 
1885, with his burly figure and Henry the Eighth face 
and ready scowl. I suppose the scowl is ready still when 
wanted, but the Amir of today is a quiet gentlemanly man." 

The Opening of Negotiations with the Amir. After 
this visit of ceremony, Durand started negotiations in a 
garden-house where the Amir took good care to place 
the envoy facing the light, while he was equally careful 
to turn his own back to it. He also arranged for every 
spoken word to be written down by a secretary who was 
concealed. Durand found that his best plan was to 
forgo reasoned arguments and to bring the Amir by 
indirect means to the point, while avoiding anything 
that would irritate a despot. He realized that from time 
immemorial the Afghans, inhabiting a poor mountainous 
country, had lived by conquering or by raiding neigh- 
bouring countries, as indeed their history proves. No 
Amir had maintained his army entirely at the expense of 
his subjects and it was clear that once the boundaries 
were fixed, only the miserably poor mountains of 
Kafiristan were left to be annexed. 

Durand negotiates the Question ofRoshan and Shignan, 
The most important question, a question in which 
Russia was concerned, was the surrender by the Amir of 
his claims in the trans-Oxus districts of Roshan and 
Shignan. Durand pointed out to him that the Russian 
Government pressed for the literal fulfilment of the 
Agreement of 1873 and that the British Government 
considered itself bound to abide by the terms of that 
Agreement. He finally gained the Amir's consent, 
being helped by a provocative journey of a Captain 
Vannovsky, in the area under discussion, which was 
effectually stopped by the Afghan officials breaking down 

1 Sykes, Lift of Durand, p. 209. 


a wooden gallery built into the cliff. Durand emphasized 
the risk of the recurrence of such events and finally, the 
Amir said: " My people will not care, or know, whether 
I go backwards or forwards in Roshan or Shignan, but 
they care very much to know exactly how they stand on 
your side ". l Finally, Durand succeeded in inducing 
the Amir to agree to the evacuation of Roshan and 
Shignan in return for the districts not in his possession 
on the south side of the Oxus in this section. 

The Amir's Attitude as regards Wakhan. The Amir 
for a long time refused to hold Wakhan. To quote 
Durand: " He says he had a hand cut off at Somatash 
the other day, and he is not going to stretch out a long 
arm along the Hindu Kush to have that shorn off 
also ".* 

Negotiations about the North- West Frontier. After 
many interviews, during which the Amir fought hard 
for his point of view, Durand was successful in persuading 
him to accept the following conditions. In return for 
retaining Asmar and the valley above it as far as Chanak, 
the Amir agreed not to interfere in any way with Swat, 
Bajaur, or Chitral. The British Government ceded the 
Birmal tract of the Wazir country to His Highness, who, 
on * hfe part, relinquished his claim to the rest of the 
Wazir country and to Dawar. He also renounced his 
claim to Chagai. 

With reference to the Chaman question, the Amir 
withdrew his objection to the British cantonment at New 
Chaman and conceded to the British Government the 
necessary water-rights, which he had himself purchased. 
Finally, to mark their sense of the friendly spirit of His 
Highness, the Government of India, realizing that his 
revenue was too small for the upkeep of an army and 
other expenses, undertook to increase his subsidy from 
1 2 to 1 8 lakhs of rupees a year. 

It remains to add that by the Durand settlement all 
the tribes inhabiting territories east of the line were 
recognized as belonging to the British " sphere of 

1 Op. cit. p. 212. 
2 Of>. cit. p. 213. For Somatash vide ch. xliv. 


influence ". This, in effect, constituted tribal territory as 
British territory and the tribesmen as British subjects, 
At one time the area between the administered territory 
and the Durand Line was sometimes erroneously termed 
" Independent Territory ", a dangerous expression to 
employ since our aim, both in the interests of the tribes- 
men and in our own, should be to establish some form of 
British control by the construction of roads and by other 
civilizing agencies. 

The Mohmand Question. It is only right to state 
that the question of the Indo-Afghan boundary in the 
Mohmand country was not satisfactorily settled. The 
Durand Agreement ran that this shall follow the line 
shown in the map attached to the Agreement. The Amir 
said: " I understand that this line gives me the 
Mohmands ". Durand replied that the map was a small 
one and that when the large map was prepared, the 
matter would be clearer. Actually the Mohmand country 
had not been surveyed and the line that was drawn cut 
across the main subdivisions of the tribe. This situation 
was remedied in a modification subsequently offered to 
the Amir. 

The Great Durbar at Kabul. After the signature of 
the documents * the Amir held a durbar, which was 
attended by four hundred leading Sirdars. To quote 
Durand: " He made a really first-class speech beginning, 
' Confidence begets confidence. Trusting his safety and 
that of his Mission to my care, I have protected him/ 
He then urged his people to be true friends to us and to 
make their children the same. He said that we did them 
nothing but good, and had no designs on their country. 
After each period of his speech, there were shouts of 
'Approved! Approved'. On this occasion he was a 
great orator/' 

The Important Results of the Durand Mission. Durand, 
more than once, told me that the Amir was the strongest 
man with whom he had to deal. Thus two strong men 
met, and the Amir, after many conversations and due 
cogitation, finally decided that Durand was truthful and 

1 They form Appendix C. 


that the British were his sincere well-wishers. The im- 
portance of this decision was far-reaching and it was 
without doubt mainly due to it that his successor Habibulla 
remained loyal to the British during the last Great War. 

Durand thus secured for the Indian Empire its most 
important achievement of external policy during the 
nineteenth century. He not only materially helped to 
end the long advance of Russia towards India, but 
removed a constant source of misunderstanding with that 
Empire. He thereby undoubtedly paved the way for the 
Anglo- Russian Agreement of 1907, which materially 
facilitated the co-operation of the two Powers in the 
last Great War. From another point of view Durand, 
the great boundary-maker, was the great peace-maker and, 
although his valuable services were most inadequately 
rewarded, the fact that the boundary of the North- West 
Frontier of India is known as the " Durand Line ", 
constitutes an honourable memorial to this great English- 




The plain is called PAMIER, and you ride across it for twelve days together, 
finding nothing but a desert without habitations or other green thing, so that 
travellers are obliged to carry with them whatever they have need of. The 
region is so lofty and cold that you do not even see any birds flying. And I 
must notice also that because of this great cold, fire does not burn so brightly, 
nor give out so much heat as usual, nor does it cook food so effectually. MARCO 

The poet, wandering on, through Arabic, 
And Persia, and the wild Carmanian waste, 
And o'er the aerial mountains which pour down 
Indus and Oxus from their icy caves, 
In joy and exultation held his way. 

SHELLEY, Alastor. 

In Chapter XLII I have dealt with the delimitation 
of the northern frontier of Afghanistan from Zulfikar 
Pass to the Oxus. In this chapter I describe, firstly, the 
labours of the Pamir Commission which completed the 
delimitation of the northern frontiers of the Amir in ^895. 
This international Commission was of premier importance. 
Secondly, I shall deal with the boundary Commission 
under Mr. (later Sir Richard) Udny, which was charged 
with delimiting the Afghan boundary from the Hindu 
Kush to the recognized frontier at Landi Kotal, to be 
followed by other missions to the Kurram Valley and to 

Anglo-Russian Rivalry on the Pamirs. The question 
of the settlement of the Afghan frontier to the east of 
Khamiab created considerable friction between Great 
Britain and Russia. Our geographical knowledge was 
scanty, largely because the Amir had refused to permit 
Ridgeway or any other British officer to examine the 
area. The country was by nature difficult of access to the 
British, but relatively easy for Russian parties, as I found 
when I approached the Pamirs from Kashgar. It must 



also be recollected that Great Britain, as representing 
Afghanistan, and Russia were not the only Powers con- 
cerned, since China, who held the Sarikol Valley to the 
east with a garrison at Tashkurgan, also laid shadowy 
claims to portions of the Pamirs. Finally it was most 
desirable in the interests alike of Afghanistan and of the 
Indian Empire not to leave any gap between the pos- 
sessions of China and those of Afghanistan. 

Colonel Tonojff arrests Captain Tounghusband and 
Lieutenant Davidson. In the summer of 1891 Colonel 
Yonoff with a squadron of Cossacks was despatched from 
Osh to the Pamirs, nominally " to shoot the Ovis Poll 
and to practise rifle-shooting! " In reality, YonofFs 
mission was to expel any Chinese or Afghan detachments 
from the area and anticipate, by these forcible means, the 
proposed diplomatic settlement with Great Britain, In 
this connexion the Alichur Pamir had been the somewhat 
disputed boundary between the Afghans and Chinese 
long before the appearance of Russia on the scene. 
Indeed there was a stone, inscribed with a trilingual 
record in the Chinese, Manchu and Turki languages, on 
the shore of Yeshil Kul or the " Green Lake ", which 
commemorated a victory of a Chinese general over 
Kafnfuck Chiefs in 1759. The place was thenceforward 
named Somatash or " the Inscribed Stone ", 

Yonoff crossed the Pamirs and at Bozai Gumbaz, 
situated in the Wakhan Valley, which by the Agreement 
of 1873 had been acknowledged Afghan territory, he 
met Captain (later Sir Francis) Younghusband, whom 
he illegally arrested. At the same period Lieutenant 
Davidson, who was travelling in the Pamirs, was also 
arrested at Somatash by Yonoff, who expelled a then 
Chinese official with a detachment of troops from this 
centre. In the spring of 1892 the Chinese reappeared 
at Somatash, but were driven out by a small Afghan 
force. Yonoff, however, returned to the Pamirs with 
his Cossacks somewhat later, and ordered the Afghans 
to retire. Although hopelessly outnumbered, they stood 
their ground bravely and were massacred. The Amir, 
with good reason, complained bitterly to Durand of this 


unwarrantable action of the Russians and threatened to 
withdraw entirely from Wakhan. 

British Negotiations with Russia, 1893, 1894. At 
long last apologies were made for Yonoff's unjustifiable 
actions, but it was clear that Russia was pursuing dilatory 
tactics in her negotiations while strengthening her posi- 
tion on the Pamirs, In August 1 893 the Russian Govern- 
ment proposed to draw a line from the eastern point of 
Lake Victoria so as to leave Bozai Gumbaz to Russia, 
and to continue it along the slopes of the Muztagh to 
the north of the valley of the Wakhijir. Upon being 
consulted as to this proposal, the Government of India 
pointed out that such a diversion could not be of the 
slightest value to the Northern Power except for the 
purpose of threatening the passes of the Hindu Kush. 

Later in the year more reasonable proposals were 
made but, in 1894, Russia suggested a line by which 
she would gain control of the routes running to Hunza, 
Wakhan and Sarikol. In this year Russian troops occupied 
Shignan, from which district the Amir prudently withdrew 
his troops. 

The Final Settlement of the Pamir Question, in March 
1895. The final settlement laid down that the spheres 
of influence of the two Powers should be divided"^ a 
line which, starting from a point on Lake Victoria near 
its eastern extremity, should follow the crests of the 
mountain range running somewhat to the south of the 
latitude of the lake as far as the Benderski and Orta Bel 
Passes. It was agreed that a joint Commission should 
settle the precise line and should also be charged to 
report any facts bearing on the situation of the Chinese 
frontier with a view to enabling the two Governments to 
come to an agreement with the Chinese Government. 

The execution of the Agreement was contingent upon 
the evacuation by the Amir of Afghanistan of all the 
territories occupied by him on the right bank of the 
Panja, and by the Amir of Bukhara of the portion of 
Darwaz, which lay to the south of the Oxus. 

The Arrangement made with the Amir. As mentioned 
in the previous chapter, Durand had persuaded the Amir 


to accept the above Agreement. It was obviously most 
important for him to retain the administration of the 
valley of Wakhan, which, as Durand shcivs, he was 
unwilling to do. Realizing that the British Government 
were anxious for him to hold this buffer district, he, first 
of all, bargained for the cost of a force of 400 sowars 
and 1000 levies, but finally accepted a special annual 
subsidy of 50,000 rupees. 

The March of the British Commission to Lake Victoria. 
Holdich, that truly great surveyor of boundaries, gives 
an interesting account of the very difficult country which 
represents the boundary of the Indian Empire at its 
north-east corner. From Gilgit, through the Yasin 
Valley to Darkot, there was only a narrow track. The 
Darkot Pass he describes as " a dangerous and wearisome 
climbing way, over broken moraine and fissured glacier 
till one arrives at the snowfields of the pass some 1 5,000 
feet above sea-level, ere plunging or sliding down again 
to the Yarkhun river ". 

To continue: " The advantages we gained on the 
Darkot lasted us across the Yarkun River and the main 
chain of the Hindu Kush (which, as all the world knows, is 
not a Difficult range to cross at this point) into the Wakhan 
Vilfty, and there for a space we were completely non- 
plussed. Up the valley of the Wakhan we worried and 
twisted our way, day after day, along the devil's pathway 
which flanks the river gorges. There were no flat spaces, 
and no reasonable footpaths along that route. If we were 
not engaged in a rocky scramble upstairs, we were zig- 
zagging down into depths measuring thousands of 
feet merely to make a fresh start in another climb after 
stumbling through a river at the bottom/' 1 

The Meeting of the Anglo-Russian Commission at Lake 
Victoria^ July 1895. On ^ s Commission Great Britain 
was represented by Major-General Gerard, who had 
served as Military Attach^ at St. Petersburg, with 
Holdich as his Chief Survey Officer. The Chief Russian 
representative was General Pavolo Schveikovski, Governor 
of Ferghana, with M. Benderski as his Chief Survey 

1 The Indian Borderland^ pp. 289, 290. 


Officer, who had served on the earlier boundary Com- 
mission. Two Afghan representatives attended, but 
were unprovided with any credentials, which the Amir 
stubbornly refused to supply. 

The Commencement of the Demarcation. On July 28, 
1895, t ^ LC ^ rst pM ar was erected at the eastern end of 
the lake and, before the middle of August, the boundary 
line had been demarcated to the Orta Bel Pass. 

It was decided by the Commissioners that Lake 
Sarikol l should henceforth be termed Lake Victoria, 
that the range to the south should be called the Emperor 
Nicolas II range, and that the peak nearest the range 
should be known as Le Pic de la Concorde. 

Changes made in the Actual Demarcation. Difficulties 
arose beyond the Orta Bel Pass, since its position, as 
also that given to the Beyik Pass on the map were about 
6' south of their true positions. In these circumstances, 
Gerard recommended the acceptance of a line proposed 
by the Russians running southwards to the watershed 
of the Taghdumbash, which the Russians acknowledged 
to be the Chinese frontier. It remains to add that the 
river flowing westwards from Lake Victoria was officially 
accepted as a part of the northern boundary of Afghanistan, 
which was continued thence to Khamiab along the River 

The Boundary of the Chinese Empire. No Chinese 
representatives had appeared on the scene, and when the 
Russo-Afghan boundary had been thus settled, Holdich 
crossed the Beyik Pass and rode down towards the great 
Taghdumbash Valley and the Chinese station at Tash- 
kurgan. He passed a Chinese post, which signified 
permanent occupation, and had intended to travel to 
Tashkurgan, but the Chinese authorities, who had 
evidently watched the proceedings of the Commission 
from afar, would not permit this. 

The Acceptance by the Russian Government of the 
Demarcation Line. In March 1896 the Russian Govern- 
ment accepted the line as agreed upon by Generals 

1 Sar-i-Kul actually signifies " head of the lake ", and was erroneously applied by 
Captain Wood to the lake itself. 


Gerard and Pavolo Schveikovski. In October the Amir 
duly took over the Cis-Oxus Darwaz and, at the same 
period, the Russians made over the evacuated districts 
of Trans-Oxus Roshan and Shignan to the Amir of 

To quote Holdich, from the last pillar " the boundary 
projected into a place where no pillars or mark-stones 
could be raised to witness it, amidst the voiceless waste 
of a vast white wilderness 20,000 feet above the sea, 
absolutely inaccessible to man and within the ken of no 
living creature but the Pamir eagles there the great 
empires actually meet. It is a fitting tri-junction. No 
god of Hindu mythology ever occupied a more stupendous 
throne." ' 

The political results of this Commission were favour- 
able to Russia, since she had been permitted to annex the 
Pamirs (with the exception of 'the Taghdumbash Pamir, 
which was left to China) and had advanced her boundaries 
towards Afghanistan. From the British point of view, 
however, the delimitation of a definite boundary was of 
great importance, a boundary which, moreover, did not 
touch the Indian Empire at any point, thanks to the 

Amir's acceptance of the narrow district of Wakhan. 

The Udny Commission, 1894-1895. The Commission 
which was appointed to delimit the Afghan boundary 
from the Hindu Kush to Landi Kotal was led by Mr. 
(later Sir Richard) Udny as Chief Commissioner, with 
Holdich as Chief Surveyor. It was met on the frontier at 
Landi Khana by an Afghan escort and, proceeding along 
the well-worn Kabul route, was joined by Ghulam 
Haidar, the Amir's Commander-in-Chief and Chief Com- 
missioner. The Kabul River was crossed and the almost 
unexplored Kunar Valley was entered. 

The Route followed by Alexander the Great. The 
Mission was treading on historical ground, since the 
ancient highway from Central Asia to India ran through 
the Laghman Valley to Bajaur. It was followed by 
Alexander the Great, who, from Bajaur, crossed the Swat 

1 Op. c/V. p. 293. 


Valley and by a superb feat of arms captured Aornos, 
situated in a great bend of the Indus. 1 

The Political Situation in the Kunar Valley. To resume : 
the Amir had constructed a road up the right bank of the 
river to Asmar, which district marked the limits of 
Afghanistan. Some sixty miles farther up the river was 

Ghulam Haidar, under plea of the danger from hostile 
tribesmen of Jandol, would not consent to a complete 
survey of the country being executed. However, by 
dint of tact and perseverance, some of the hills were 
climbed with good results and the necessary data were 

The Siege of ChitraL Early in January 1895 news 
was received of the murder of the Mehtar of Chitral. 
This caused an upheaval in that turbulent state, and led 
to Dr. (later Sir George) Robertson, the political agent at 
Gilgit, marching to Chitral with an escort. The situation 
was rendered difficult by the inopportune release from 
captivity at Kabul of Shir Afzul, a popular member of 
the ruling family, who, in alliance with Umra Khan of 
Jandol, besieged the British force, which suffered heavy 
losses in a sortie. The British, however, held the fort for 
some six weeks in spite of attempts at mining arfld'at 
setting fire to it. They were relieved by Colonel Kelly's 
remarkable march from Gilgit at the head of a small 
column. 2 

The Commission and Umra Khan. Needless to say the 
Commission camping on the frontier of Bajaur, and 
incidentally sheltering an escaped Chitrali Chieftain and 
his followers, took a deep interest in the struggle, and 
Holdich formed the opinion that members of the Afghan 
force stationed at Asmar had undoubtedly joined Umra 
Khan's army. There is little doubt that the Amir's Com- 
mander-in-Chief was fishing in the troubled waters and 
aiding and abetting the besiegers. Probably he hoped to 
add the state of Chitral to Afghanistan. But the brilliant 

1 Vide On Alexander** Track to the Indus, by Sir Aurcl Stein. 
* Chitral, by Sir George Robertson, gives a most interesting account of the general 
political situation and of the siege. 


relief of Chitral by Kelly, followed by the march of a 
British division under Sir Robert Low, who defeated the 
valiant Pathans at the Malakand Pass, occupied the 
Jandol Valley without resistance being offered, and crossed 
the Lowari Pass into the Chitral Valley, ended the power 
of Umra Khan and definitely settled the fate of these 
petty states. 

The Claims of the Amir. So far as the Hindu Kush 
range was concerned there was no need to demarcate it. 
From the neighbourhood of the Dora Pass, which leads 
from Afghan Turkistan to the upper tributaries of the 
Kunar River, the boundary turns southward and follows 
the crest of a gigantic range termed Shawal, which con- 
stitutes the western limit of the Chitral Valley. 

By the Udny Agreement of 1893 the Bashgol or 
Arnawai Valley, which formed part of Kafiristan, was 
laid down as belonging to the Chitral State. The 
Amir, however, claimed the whole of Kafiristan as 
Afghan territory and declared that the Arnawai of the 
Agreement was a stream which joined the Chitral River 
(as the Kunar River was known in this section) from the 

wished not only to convert the pagan Kafirs to 
but to establish a trade-route between Jalalabad 
and Badakhshan. From the strategical point of view, it 
would have been unwise for the state of Chitral to have 
held this outlying valley our responsibilities were 
sufficiently great as it was, for Kafiristan is separated from 
Chitral by the snow-capped Shawal range, which is 
impassable for many months in the year. Consequently, 
the decision was given in the Amir's favour. 

The Expedition into Kafiristan. In order to fix the 
positions of the numerous mountains which are situated 
between the Hindu Kush and Jalalabad, it was necessary 
to make an expedition into Kafiristan. By way of pre- 
caution Ghulam Haidar first secured a number of Kafir 
hostages and the explorers were guarded by a strong 
Afghan escort. To quote Holdich: " Our first day's 
march was hot and steamy, and we crawled but slowly 

1 For the Amir's conquest of Kafiristan vide Chapter XLV. 


over the slippery limestone crags, and the crumbling 
schistose rocks that border the close little valley of the 
Darin. Up and down those ragged spurs, and through 
the undergrowth of thickets which were but a tangle of 
reeds and briars shadowed by wild fig-trees, olives, pome- 
granates, vines, apricots and oaks, we pushed our slow 
way for the livelong day, till evening brought us to the 
foot of the rocks on which was perched the village of 
Darin." Continuing the march, on the fourth day, 
" after a straight up and down climb of 5000 feet we 
reached the Bozasar peak, and this is what we saw. The 
whole world ringed with snow, line upon line, ridge upon 
ridge of snow-bound mountain-tops encircling the horizon 
in one vast sea of snow- billows . . . we could recognize 
the peaks fixed by the Indus triangulation, and could 
connect them together." l 

This concluded the proceedings of the Commission, 
since the question of the boundary in the Mohmand 
country had been ruled out of court for the time being, 
and, after rendering these valuable services to exploration, 
Holdich received orders to join the still more important 
Pamir Commission. 


The Settlement of the Mohmand Boundary, 1896*. It 

was not until 1896 that this difficult question was settled 
by assurances given at a public durbar held at Shabkadar 
in that year. The clans which accepted the political 
control of the Government of India were afterwards 
known as the " assured " clans. Sir Louis Dane subse- 
quently constructed a canal which irrigated their waste 
lands and converted them into rich sugar and cotton 
tracts, with the result that raiding practically ceased. 

The Boundary in the Vicinity of Arandu. There was 
also the small matter of the boundary from the Nawe 
Kotal at the western extremity of Banjaur to the limits, 
of Chitral. The boundary was described under the Udny 
Agreement as a series of watersheds, but it was not 
demarcated. In 1932 a Commission under Captain 
W. H. Hay as British Commissioner, Sirdar Habibulla 

1 Op. cit. pp. 275-279. 


Khan Tarzi as Afghan Commissioner, and Nasir-ul- 
Mulk, eldest son of the Mehtar of Chitral, met at Dokalim. 
They took the boundary almost due north to a point on 
the Arandu stream just above where it emerges from the 
hills, leaving the Dokalim lands in Afghan territory. 1 

The Delimitation of the Kurram V alley ^ 1894, The 
delimitation of the boundary from the slopes of the Safid 
Kuh southwards through Kurram was not especially 
difficult. The inhabitants of the higher slopes of the 
valley were, as previously mentioned, Turis who, as 
Shia Moslems, were considered to be heretics by their 
fanatical neighbours and were anxious for British pro- 
tection. Consequently there was little or no obstruction 
in this section. 

The Boundary of Waziristan, 1894-1895. One of 
the most difficult areas to be dealt with was Waziristan. 
As a preliminary measure it was decided to form a military 
post at Wana, a barren plain situated north of the Gumal 
Pass at the south-west corner of Waziristan. Wana 
absolutely dominated the Ghilzais and commanded the 
chief route from Ghazni to India. It ranks as a key 

In v i $94 it was decided to occupy the plateau with a 
brigade. Survey operations were at once commenced 
and the party marched with the Delimitation escort to 
Wana. The survey was continued in different directions, 
but during a sudden attack on the escort camp, Lieutenant 
Macaulay was killed. Major Wahab, who was in charge 
of the survey operations, joined the Boundary Com- 
mission under Mr. L. W. King at Domandi in late 
January, and the survey and demarcation of the boundary 
from that point to Khwaja Khidr, at the head of the Birmal 
and Shawal Valleys, was carried through under excep- 
tionally difficult conditions. Later the party entered the 
Tochi Valley and the demarcation southwards was finally 
completed in the late spring. By these Commissions 
the Indo-Afghan boundaries were delimited from the 
Hindu Kush to Domandi in the Gumal Pass. 

1 Vide " Demarcation of the Indo-Afghan Boundary in the Vicinity of Arandu ", by 
Major W. R. Hay, Geog. Journ., vol. Ixxxii, No. 4, Oct. 1933. 


Much credit is due not only to the gallant and enter- 
prising survey officers, but also to the political officers 
and to the officers and men of the escorts. Apart from 
the dangers of attack, the tasks involved considerable 
hardships of every kind, and some loss of life. 



Where the word of a King is, there is power: and who may say unto him, 
" What doest thou? " ECCLESIASTES viii, 4. 

I look from a fort half-ruined, on Kabul spreading below, 

On the near hills crowned with cannon, and the far hills piled with snowj 

Fair are the vales well watered, and the vines on the upland swell, 

You might think you were reigning in Heaven I know I am ruling Hell. 

And far from the Suleiman heights come the sounds of the stirring tribes, 
Afridi, Hazara, and Ghilzai, they clamour for plunder or bribes; 
And Herat is but held by a thread; and the Uzbeg has raised Badakhshan; 
And the chief may sleep sound, in his grave, who would rule the unruly 

Afghan. LYALL. 

Abdur Rahman describes his Subjects. In his auto- 
biography Abdur Rahman writes: " Every mulla and 
chief of every tribe and village considered himself an 
independent king. . . , The tyranny and cruelty of these 
men was unbearable. One of their jokes was to cut off 
the heads of men and women and put them on red-hot 
sheets of iron to see them jump about." 

In this chapter I propose to deal with the rebellions 
of the Ghilzais, of Ishak Khan and of the Hazaras, while 
I shall also touch on the remarkable views held by Abdur 
Rahman on more than one subject. 

The Shinwari Expedition. But, before dealing with 
these important rebellions, a brief reference is called for 
to the typical case of the Shinwaris. For many years this 
tribe had made the Peshawar-Kabul road unsafe by 
murdering travellers, by looting caravans and by driving 
off the flocks of the villagers. In 1883 Abdul Rahman 
visited Jalalabad and, at a durbar, tried to influence the 
Chiefs and mullas to stop these outrages, but to no 
purpose. A strong force was launched against the tribe; 
they were worsted in four engagements, and were 



punished with ruthless severity. 

Abdur Rahman concludes the account of this cam- 
paign by quoting a Pushtu poem : 

You may try gently for hundreds of years to make friends, 

But it is impossible to make scorpions, snakes, and Shinwaris into friends. 

The Ghilzai Rebellion, 1886. The Ghilzais, as we 
have seen in Chapter XXII, had captured Isfahan in 1722, 
and ruled Persia for some years. They were the most 
powerful tribe in Afghanistan, noted for their bravery, 
their fanaticism and their lawlessness, as recorded in 
previous chapters. They had also desired the return of 
Yakub Khan to the throne and were unfavourable to 
Abdur Rahman being proclaimed Amir. Abdur Rahman 
mentions that he had imprisoned some Ghilzai Chiefs, 
and in The Amirs Message Lyall describes the mistrust 
which he inspired: 

The Ghilzaie Chief wrote answer Our paths are narrow and steep, 
The sun burns fierce in the valleys, and the snow-fed streams run deep; 
The fords of the Kabul river are watched by the Afreedee; 
We harried his folk last springtide, and he keeps good memory. 
High stands thy Kabul citadel, where many have room and rest; 
The Amirs give welcome entry, but they speed not the parting guest. 


Their Religious Leader. Their religious leader* was 

the notorious Mushk-i-Alam, who had headed the jihad 
against the British a few years previously. Abdur Rahman 
had not only ordered the tribe to pay taxes, which was 
considered almost an insult, but he had filled the cup 
of his iniquity from the ecclesiastical point of view by 
abolishing the stipends paid to religious luminaries. They, 
therefore, called on the Ghilzais, who were most ready 
listeners, to rebel. 

The actual outbreak of hostilities was caused by the 
murder of a Sirdar of the Barakzai clan, by the Ghilzai 
Chief Shir Khan, who carried off the family and property 
of his victim. About the same time a regiment of Durrani 
recruits, which was marching without arms, was attacked, 
camels and treasure being carried off. The Ghilzais at 
first won a success, while both the members of their 
tribe and the Hazaras who were serving as soldiers at 


Herat, mutinied and broke away to join the rebels. 
There was much hard fighting, but finally the Ghilzais 
were crushed and submitted. 

The Rebellion of Ishak Khan, 1888. Ishak Khan, son 
of Azim Khan, who accompanied Abdur Rahman in his 
wanderings, has already been mentioned more than once. 
Abdur Rahman appointed him Governor of Afghan 
Turkistan during the first year of his reign, and, relying 
on an oath sworn on the Koran, trusted him implicitly. 
To quote: " Having not the slightest idea of his dis- 
loyalty, I placed the best rifles and arms at his disposal, 
because he was on the frontier of Russia ". Ishak Khan, 
however, decided to bid for the throne. He won over 
the mullas by posing as a very strict Moslem, while to 
attract his Turkoman subjects he became a disciple of 
one of the dervishes of the Nakhshband sect. 1 

The Amir heard that Ishak was amassing funds 
from the revenue while continually drawing on Kabul 
for money, and was plotting against him. He instructed 
him therefore to visit Kabul, but he excused himself on 
the grounds of ill-health. In June 1888 Abdur Rahman 
became seriously ill and the rumour spread that he was 
dead, whereupon Ishak proclaimed himself Amir and 
coined money in his own name. 

The Campaign against Ishak Khan. The battle with 
the usurper took place near Tashkurghan. It began early 
in the morning, and late in the afternoon one column of 
Abdur Rahman's army was defeated and fled. While 
the main body was still holding firm, some " disloyal 
soldiers [to quote from the Memoirs'] galloped towards 
the hill, where Muhammad Ishak was seated, in order to 
submit to him. He, thinking that these men were 
galloping towards him to take him prisoner, and that his 
army was defeated, fled away. His army continued to 
fight until long after sunset . . . while Ishak busied him- 
self in running away as fast as he could. When the news 
was taken to the soldiers that their master had fled, they 

1 The story runs that the founder of the sect was a potter who, while tending the 
firing furnace, repeated the name of Allah so intently that it appeared on each of the 
pots. Hence the sect of Nakhshband, which signifies an engraver. 


lost heart, and were ultimately defeated. In short, on 
September 29 a glorious victory was won by my General, 
Ghulam Haidar Khan." Surely this is one of the most 
dramatic stories of Eastern warfare! The punishments 
inflicted on the rebels, as might be expected, were 
extremely severe. 

The Hazara Rebellion. The last of these rebellions 
was that of the Hazaras, who, as already mentioned, inhabit 
the heart of Afghanistan, holding the mountainous country 
from Kabul, Ghazni and Kalat-i-Ghilzai westwards to the 
neighbourhood of Herat. They are a mixed race; the 
descendants of a military colony founded by the Mongols. 
They were notorious raiders and, as members of the Shia 
sect, hated the Afghans. In 1888 the Shaykh AH tribes- 
men, who inhabited the district to the south-west of Balkh, 
revolted, but were pardoned. Two years later they again 
revolted. A punitive expedition was despatched: " They 
were defeated, some were killed, others submitted to my 
rule, the remainder being brought to Kabul as prisoners. 
I treated the prisoners very kindly and soon restored them 
to their homes." 

Again, in the spring of 1 89 1, the Hazaras living in the 
Ghazni area revolted. To quote the Amir onc$ again: 
" The Hazaras had raided and plundered the neighbour- 
ing subjects for about 300 years past, and none of the 
Kings had had the power to make them absolutely peace- 
ful. They considered themselves rather too strong to be 
defeated, and were very proud of their power." However, 
the Amir's army defeated the rebels and occupied 
Uruzghan, the strongest centre of the Hazaras. 

The Final Crushing of the Hazaras. It might have 
been thought that a third defeat of the rebels, with the 
capture of their leader, would have ended the rebellion, 
But Muhammad Husayn, Hazara, who had commanded 
the Afghan troops in this successful campaign and had 
been appointed Governor of Hazarajat, turned traitor and 
incited other tribes of the Hazaras to join him. On this 
occasion the Amir issued a call for volunteers to fight the 
heretical Shia Hazaras. Some thousands of his subjects, 
inspired by fanaticism and hopes of slaves and plunder, 


started under their Chiefs for the Hazara country, which 
was invaded from every direction, and by the capture of 
the traitorous Muhammad Husayn Khan and other 
leaders the Amir crushed this, the last rebellion. 

The Amir gazetted a Grand Cross of the Bath. Abdur 
Rahman was gazetted a G.C.B., and on being presented 
with the insignia he referred to his friendly alliance with 
the British and declared: " I will wear the insignia on a 
battlefield in the presence of the Russians ". 

Shahzada Nasrulla Khan's Visit to England in 1895. 
Abdur Rahman's main object in wishing to visit England 
himself, or to send his son as his representative, was to 
secure direct communication with the British Govern- 
ment. He wished to have an Ambassador in London 
and would possibly have accepted the appointment of a 
British Ambassador at Kabul. He contended that, as 
independent Amir of Afghanistan, an Ambassador was 
the proper intermediary, and that he was denied a 
privilege which was accorded to the Shah of Persia. He 
had written a letter to Lord Salisbury in 1892, the gist of 
which was that the Government of India did not treat 
him as a friend and made complaints against him, and 
that he, desired direct communication with the English 
Government. To this Lord Salisbury wrote a friendly 
reply stating that Lord Lansdowne was the sincere friend 
of His Highness and it was hoped to hear through the 
Viceroy that outstanding questions had been settled 
between him and His Highness, who would then be 
invited to pay a visit to the Court of Her Majesty. 

The Amir decides to send Nasrulla Khan. Owing to 
the serious state of his health, which also precluded the 
possibility of allowing Habibulla to leave Afghanistan, 
the Amir decided to send his second son, Shahzada 
Nasrulla Khan, to represent him in England. To guide 
Jiim, we learn that a book of instructions, which he was 
ordered to follow implicitly throughout the whole of his 
journey, was composed by his father. 

The Reception of Nasrulla Khan by the Queen-Empress. 
The Shahzada landed at Portsmouth on May 24 and 
was greeted with a royal salute. He was received 



unofficially at Windsor on May 27, and read a message 
from the Amir, expressing regret at being unable to 
visit Her Majesty in person and trusting that friendly 
relations between the two countries would be more 
firmly established by his son's visit. The Shahzada 
attended the Derby, a review at Aldershot, made a 
provincial tour, was present at Ascot and, on July 2, 
travelled in state to Windsor, where he presented Her 
Majesty with the letter of which he was the bearer from 
the Amir, and also with valuable presents. 

The Request for the Appointment of an Ambassador in 
London. On July 20 he was accorded a farewell 
audience. On this occasion he addressed the Queen 
from a paper written in Persian, which expressed the 
one request of the Amir, that there should be permanently 
appointed in London a trustworthy person or, in other 
words, an Ambassador. This letter was, almost certainly, 
taken from the book of instructions. 

The Reply of the Secretary of State for India. The 
reply of Lord George Hamilton was that, owing to the 
greater proximity of the Government of India, the better 
local information at the disposal of the Viceroy, and the 
exalted position of Her Majesty's representative, the 
present procedure was the more convenient one 1 . " ' 

The Letter of Lord Salisbury. Finally, Lord Salisbury, 
in a letter to the Amir, pointed out that the presence of a 
British officer at Kabul had on two occasions led to tragic 
events which are still remembered, and that until a 
British officer could with safety live at Kabul and travel 
in the country, it would not be possible to receive an 
Afghan envoy in England. In the same letter it was 
mentioned that the Queen-Empress had been pleased to 
confer the G.C.M.G. on Habibulla Khan and on Nasrulla 

The Disappointment of the Amir. The Amir was^ 
bitterly disappointed at his failure to establish direct 
relations with the British Government and expressed 
his feelings as follows: " It is the custom, not only 
among the aristocracy, but among our poorest people as 
well, that a guest should never return in despair at his 


request being refused, even if he be an enemy. . . . But 
my son, who was the son of a sovereign and the guest 
of another illustrious sovereign, was returned with a dry 
but polite refusal to my request. " It remains to add that 
Nasrulla Khan, who viewed every honour that was paid 
to him with suspicion, remained hostile to Great Britain 
to the end of his life. 

The Subjugation of Kafiristan^ 1895-1896. The 
political situation of Kafiristan was indirectly settled by 
the following clause in the Durand Agreement: " The 
British Government thus agrees to His Highness the 
Amir retaining Asmar and the valley above it as far as 
Chanak. His Highness agrees on the other hand, that 
he will at no time exercise interference in Swat, Bajaur 
or Chitral, including the Arnawai or Bashgul Valley." 
The Amir, however, maintained that the Arnawai and 
Bashgul Rivers were not synonymous, the former draining 
into the Kunar from the east, the latter from the west. 
The Government of India, as we have seen, wisely con- 
ceded the point, and the Amir decided to annex this 
mountainous country. He mentioned that, among his 
reasons was the risk of Russia suddenly seizing the 
country, the military objection to leaving warlike raiding 
triBs unsubdued, and the benefits to commerce that the 
opening up the routes from Jalalabad, Asmar and Kabul 
towards the north would ensure. 

A Successful Winter Campaign. Abdur Rahman 
decided that the best season for annexing the country 
would be the winter, when the Kafirs were perforce 
confined to the valleys. The campaign was conducted 
with considerable skill, columns being quietly organized 
to invade the country from the west through the Panjshir 
to Kullum, the strongest fort in the country, from Asmar 
on the east, and from Badakhshan on the north; a small 
force also marched from Laghman on the south-west. 
Kafiristan was conquered, without very great difficulty 
within forty days, according to the Autobiography. 
Many of its inhabitants were settled in the province of 
Laghman, while their country was occupied by retired 
soldiers and other Afghans. The Kafirs were forcibly 


converted to Islam, and their country renamed Nuristan 
or " The Land of Light ". 

Troubles on the North-West Frontier, 1897. The 
defeat by the Sultan of the Greeks, 1 the commitments of 
Great Britain in the Sudan, taken together with the 
ceaseless advance of the British, constituted the main 
factors underlying the tribal risings. British prestige for 
a while was low, and the Amir, who was undoubtedly 
influenced by these events, addressed an important 
assembly of mullas and declared that it was the duty of 
all true believers to kill the infidels and, at this time, he 
assumed the title of " Light of the Nation and Religion ". 
He also published an " Almanac of Religion ", which 
dealt with jihad. 

Lord Curzon and Abdur Rahman. Lord Curzon 
landed at Bombay on December 30, 1898. He had 
already travelled widely in Asia and, in 1 894, he had made 
a remarkable journey to the Pamirs and proved that the 
River Panja, issuing from a glacier of the Wakhijir Pass, 
was the true Oxus. He had next visited the Amir at Kabul 
where he spent a fortnight, having constant interviews 
with his host, who in a conversation announced for the 
first time that it was his definite determination that he 
should be succeeded by Habibulla. 2 

The Amir, who had tried without success to obtain 
money from the Government of India for the construction 
of an elaborate system of fortification along his northern 
frontier, commented adversely on the construction of 
forts by the British on the North- West Frontier, ex- 
claiming, " We are members of the same house, and to 
that house there should be but one wall ". 

When Lord Curzon was appointed Viceroy it was 
hoped in London that his personal influence would result 
in improved relations with the stubborn Amir. This 
showed an entire lack of comprehension of that potentate's 
point of view. Abdur Rahman had made a confidant of 
Curzon and had hoped that, as a Member of Parliament, 

1 In Makran the fanaticism excited by the defeat of the nation of Alexander " Lord 
of the Two Horns " at the hands of the Turks, led to the murder of a British Inspector 
of Telegraphs. Vide Sykes, Ten Thousand Miles in Persia, p. 274. 

2 I have consulted The Life of Lord Curxon, by the Earl of Ronaldshay, 3 vols., 1928. 


he would constitute his ace of trumps and would aid him 
to escape from the Government of India, which he 
cordially disliked, by gaining direct communication with 
London. Somewhat naturally, to the Amir, the appoint- 
ment could only present itself to his subtle mind as a 
prearranged plan and, since Curzon made no efforts to 
win him over by a display of tact and friendliness, their 
relations remained unsatisfactory throughout. 

The Progress effected by Abdur Rahman. There is no 
doubt that during his ten years of exile Abdur Rahman 
observed keenly and learned much from Russian admini- 
stration, which constituted a considerable improvement 
on the chaotic rule of the incapable Khans it replaced. 
He also learned much from the English. Perhaps his 
most important reform was that of justice. When he 
took over the government the price of a life was 400 
(Kabuli) rupees. 1 He instituted the law that a murderer 
is entirely at the mercy of the relatives of the murdered 
person. In case they chose to accept a money ransom, it 
was fixed at 7000 (Kabuli) rupees and, even then, the 
Government still retained the right of granting or with- 
holding pardon. Again, by Afghan custom, if a woman 
lost h^r husband, his next-of-kin had the right of marrying 
hef" against her wish. The new law declared that the 
woman was entirely free upon the death of her husband. 
To take the question of administration, he created govern- 
ment departments modelled closely on the system pre- 
vailing in Europe. Nor did he forget education or 

The Organization of the Afghan Army. His father, 
following the advice of Campbell, the soldier of fortune 
referred to in Chapter XXXIX, had organized his force 
into divisions, brigades and regiments of cavalry and 
infantry with batteries of artillery, this replacing the old 
order under which the army was simply a mass of fighting 
men. Abdur Rahman also instituted training for the 
officers, tested by examinations. Recruiting for the army 
was organized on the system termed Hasht Nafri, or 
" one man in eight ". The Afghan army, as we have 

1 A Kabuli, or Afghani rupee, is worth about one quarter of an Indian rupee. 


seen, gained much experience in the rebellions that were 
so frequent and Abdur Rahman watched the behaviour 
of each unit, punishing with grim severity incompetence 
or cowardice. He was fond of quoting from Jami: 

The mass of an army is not the only thing required, 
Two hundred competent warriors are better than one hundred thousand 

Realizing that it was essential to have a munitions 
factory and powder mills, Abdur Rahman employed 
British engineers, chief among whom was Sir Salter Pyne. 
Under their supervision, a mint, tanning and dyeing, 
furnaces for smelting ore, and other factories gradually 
dotted the country round Kabul. The story runs that 
when a soap factory was opened some poorer Afghans 
ate the soap and thanked the angry Amir for providing 
them with a new and delicious sweetmeat! 

The energy that was needed to induce the con- 
servative Afghans to support these enlightened efforts 
was tremendous. They complained that the work could 
be better done by hand and that buying machines meant 
sending money out of the country. But the Amir, who 
was a good mechanic himself, quoted Sadi: 


If a gentle-armed man fights with an iron-arm, *~ 

It is sure that the iron-arm will break the gentle-arm. 

Abdur Rahman was certainly the " iron-armed man ". 

The Death of Abdur Rahman^ October i, 1901. For 
the last ten years of his life the Amir was constantly 
suffering from attacks of gout, which gradually took a 
stronger hold upon him until he was unable to stand and 
had to be carried about even in his room. In the spring 
of 1901 he had a stroke but lingered on until his death 
on October i. 

His Character. To understand the character of 
Abdur Rahman it is necessary to realize that both ruler 
and ruled belonged to the Middle Ages. The Great Amir 
he surely merited the title broke the feudal power 
of the local chiefs and the fanatical leadership of the 
mu/tas, and, by his genius, welded the country into the 
kingdom of Afghanistan. He certainly used both whips 


and scorpions, dealing with stiff-necked tribes, whose 
evil ways he rebuked in a manner that reminds one of 
the Jewish Prophets, His justice was grim and cruel, 
very cruel according to our standards. But, in dealing 
with his stubborn, treacherous subjects, his methods 
were the only methods that would have secured law and 
order. It was typical rough justice of the only kind that 
his people understood, while they also realised that he 
was a devout Moslem. Again, his system of espionage, 
owing to which no one was safe from arrest on a charge 
of treason, with every chance of a painful death or long 
imprisonment, created an atmosphere of fear or mistrust, 
but, yet, in Afghanistan of that period, it was probably 

Abdur Rahman realized that he must rule with a 
rod of iron, but he was far ahead of Dost Muhammad in 
his statesmanship. He realized also that his grandfather's 
policy of making his numerous sons rulers of the various 
provinces, each with his own force and revenue, involved 
a fratricidal struggle for power on his death. Indeed, 
nothing is clearer in the history of Afghanistan than the 
constant civil wars, occasioned in almost every case by 
revolt^ of brothers or sons of the ruling Amir. To 
obfiate*this evil Abdur Rahman kept all his sons at 
Kabul, while he gradually placed Habibulla, his eldest 
son, in charge of every department, only retaining the 
conduct of foreign affairs in his own hands. He also 
insisted on his younger sons taking part in the administra- 
tion but, at the same time, attending the daily durbar of 
Habibulla. As he wrote: " None of them [i.e. the 
younger sons] are in a position to take up arms against 
that one who has absolute control over the army, the 
treasury and everything else ". 

His advice to his sons and successors was " to struggle 
day and night for the peace, happiness and welfare of 
their subjects. If the people are rich, the kingdom is 
rich if the subjects are peaceful, the Government is at 
peace." He also quoted Sadi on this subject: 

Subjects are like roots and kings like trees; 

Trees, O my children, cannot stand without their roots. 


In reading the Life of William the Conqueror, whose 
eldest son rebelled and whose half-brother Odo he was 
obliged to imprison, we realize the difficulties with which 
he was faced. To quote the Peterborough Chronicle of 
1087: " Stark man he was and great awe men had of 
him. So harsh and cruel was he that none dared with- 
stand his will. ... If a man would live and hold his lands, 
need it were he followed the King's will/' 

It is generally considered that William was cruel, from 
policy rather than from character. In reading the lives 
of these two great warriors, both of whom were dominat- 
ing personalities and possessed of genius, both of whom 
created a kingdom, and both of whom sought to establish 
law and order by means which appear cruel to us in the 
twentieth century, I would ask if there is not some 
similarity between William the Conqueror of England 
and Amir Abdur Rahman of Afghanistan. However 
this may be, the British policy of proclaiming Abdur 
Rahman Amir of Kabul was justified by its fruits. It 
gave us thirty-nine years of a united Afghanistan which, 
if not always friendly to Great Britain, constituted a 
valuable asset in the Great War. 



The vagaries of the Helmand in Seistan, where it is the boundary between 
Persia and Afghanistan, have led to two Boundary Commissions in thirty 
years. LORD CURZON on Frontiers. 

O Seistan! May the clouds refuse their beneficent rain, may ruins and the 
desert cover thy soil! In winter, thou art a place of suffering and misfortune; 
in summer, a mass of serpents and insects. Allah created thee as a punishment 
to men, and has made thee a hell. From an Arab poem. 

Four Boundary Commissions. In this chapter I have 
dealt with the two Missions carried out by Sir Henry 
McMahon. The first was the Indo-Afghan frontier. 
In the second he was appointed to arbitrate between 
Persia and Afghanistan on the questions that had arisen 
owing to a change in the course of the Helmand in the 
delta province of Seistan. I have also given a brief 
account of the delimitation of the western frontier of 
Afghanistan from a point near Bandan to the vicinity 
of the Hashtadan Plain by General Fukhur-ud-Din, a 
Turkish officer, in 1935, an< ^> finally reference is made 
to the arbitral award on the Hashtadan Plain by Major- 
General C. S. MacLean, in 1891. 

The Indo-Afghan Boundary Commission, 18941896. 
The first Mission of Captain (later Sir) Henry McMahon 
was the extremely difficult task of delimiting and demarcat- 
ing l the Afghan frontier from Domandi, situated at the 
junction of the Gumal and Kundar Rivers to Kuh-i-Malik 
iSiah, where Baluchistan and Afghanistan alike meet the 
Persian border. 

The Area under Discussion. Geographically speaking, 
the area falls into two distinct sections. From Domandi 

1 I would acknowledge Sir Henry McMahon's assistance in this chapter. 



to Chaman, a distance of 330 miles in length, it consisted 
of high rugged mountains, inhabited by warlike tribes 
generally on bad terms with one another, whereas the 
second section, 470 miles in length, ran through a water- 
less country, with sandy plains and naked hills which 
were almost void of inhabitants. Indeed, so little known 
was the area under consideration, that only three places 
could be noted with any precision, Domandi, the starting 
point, New Chaman, situated about half-way along the 
line, and the terminus at the Kuh-i-Malik Siah, " The 
Hill of the Black Chief," the word Malik probably 
denoting a pre-Islamic belief in a being, who ranked 
below a Pir or Saint. 

The Nomadic or Semi-nomadic Inhabitants. Apart 
from the physical difficulties and the danger of a sudden 
attack, which McMahon only just escaped at the hands 
of a strong raiding force of Wazir tribesmen, there was the 
necessarily vague manner in which the course of the line 
was defined in the Durand Agreement to be taken into 
consideration. To secure a satisfactory demarcation, it 
was necessary to ascertain the territorial limits of tribes, 
who might be wholly or semi-nomadic. Moreover the 
question of the boundary naturally aroused wilct excite- 
ment among those concerned which, in the case oT the 
more warlike at feud with one another, created situations 
fraught with anxiety and danger. 

The Ordeal of the Koran. Fortunately for the peace 
of the frontier, there existed a method of determining a 
boundary, a method rarely used and by no means popular, 
of laying down a boundary line by oath. To quote 
McMahon: " Let us take a case where both sides have 
at last agreed to this expedient. Some leading man of 
the one or the other side is chosen and accepted by both 
sides for the ordeal. Then, when his reluctance to 
undergo that ordeal has been overcome, the fatefqj 
moment arrives amid a scene of excited tribesmen stilled 
for the moment by anxious expectation. With the Koran 
firmly held on his bare head and with bare feet, the oath- 
taker steps forward, but not until every care has been 
taken to ensure that no loophole has been left him for the 


saving of his soul from the sin of perjury. The Koran 
must be a genuine Koran; it must be held on his bare 
head, with nothing intervening; and the soles of his feet 
must be both bare and clean, with no particle of his own 
tribal soil adhering thereto. Thus prepared the oath- 
taker steps out, and the course he follows becomes the 
boundary line of tribal territory." J 

The Arrival of the British Commission at Domandi. 
McMahon reached Domandi on April 5, 1894. The 
Commission included a strong survey party with an 
escort of 150 men of the Punjab Frontier Force and a 
squadron of cavalry; including contingents of friendly 
tribesmen it amounted to 1000 men and 500 animals. 
On arrival at Domandi, there was no definite news of 
the appearance of Sirdar Gul Muhammad, the Afghan 
Commissioner, but this delay enabled McMahon, not 
only to extend his survey operations, but also to 
gain contact with the local tribesmen, and to institute 

The Gumal Pass. The Gumal River cuts its way 
through the Sulaiman range and issues on to the Derajat 
plains of the Punjab. The Gumal Pass has, from ancient 
days, constituted a great trade-route between Afghanistan 
and*lndia. The Ghilzai and Lohani tribes, commonly 
known as the Powindahs, march down it in their thousands 
every autumn with their families, their camels, their sheep 
and their goats. At this period they were marching back 
to their mountain pastures and complained bitterly of 
attacks by Wazir tribesmen, which had caused serious 
loss of life and of camels. 

The Appearance of an Afghan Representative. On May 
30, the representative of the Afghan Commissioner, 
Khalifa Mir Muhammad, appeared on the scene. He 
was accompanied by various chiefs of the Ghilzai tribe, 
*vho were quarrelling among themselves regarding certain 
vague claims which they each made against one another 
to lands on the British side of the proposed boundary 
line. With the idea of avoiding bloodshed, they had 

1 " International Boundaries ", by Colonel Sir Henry McMahon, Journal of the 
Royal Society of Arts, Nov. 15, 1935. 


marched by different routes to the British camp, which 
had been moved some distance up the Kundar to facilitate 
the extension of the survey. The Afghan party had 
practically no supplies and welcomed a gift of sheep and 
other provisions. 

The Stan of the Negotiations. When negotiations 
commenced, it appeared that the Amir had ordered his 
Commissioner not to meet McMahon in person, but 
to communicate by letters or verbal messages through 
envoys. Moreover, the Commissioner did not possess a 
copy of the map of the Kabul Agreement, but had an 
entirely different map, on which the boundary was marked 
in a totally incorrect manner. To add to McMahon's 
difficulties, the Khalifa Mir Muhammad was on bad 
terms with the Afghan Commissioner. 

The British Commissioner surveys the Boundary. In 
spite of this almost impossible position, McMahon, while 
carrying on negotiations, steadily moved onwards along 
the boundary line, surveying all the time. Reaching the 
plains of Khurasan, lying at an altitude of some 6000 to 
7000 feet above sea-level, the position began to improve. 
The Amir had apparently hoped to wear out the patience 
of the British Commissioner, with the object of inducing 
him to admit indiscriminate Afghan claims, but heThad 
discovered that he was mistaken. The Afghan camp also 
began to run out of supplies, which were secured by force 
and rarely paid for, whereas the British, who paid for 
everything, drew supplies even from distant Ghazni, in 
spite of the efforts of the Afghan Commissioner to 
prevent it. 

The Question of the Map. On August 18, the two 
Commissioners, McMahon and Gul Muhammad, met 
for the first time. The only topic of conversation was the 
question of the maps. The Sirdar had not received any 
instructions cancelling the former ones, which laid down 
that he was to recognize no map but the one with which 
he had been provided by Abdur Rahman. However, 
thanks to the communications which had passed be- 
tween the Government of India and the Amir, the Afghan 
Commissioner finally received a copy of the Kabul 


Agreement map, and this marked a turning-point in the 

The Demarcation of the Boundary Commences. It was 
now possible to commence the demarcation, in spite of 
constant objections raised by the Afghan representative. 
He feared the wrath of the Amir who evidently wished 
to jockey the British; forged documents were also 
occasionally produced. To add to the difficulties, the 
country was unexplored and had to be surveyed. 

Fortunately the approach of winter, which would not 
only make the mountains impassable, but would cut off 
supply caravans, eased the situation and lessened the 
number of wearisome objections. Finally the boundary 
was demarcated; the pass over the Khwaja Amran 
range was crossed just in time; and the British Com- 
missioner descended to the plains and reached New 
Chaman on Christmas Eve nine months after starting 

The Agreement and Maps signed for the First Section. 
In spite of infinite trouble caused by the Afghan Com- 
missioner, who wished to deprive New Chaman of the 
springs on which its water-supply depended, at the end 
of February 1895 t ^ ie Afghan Commissioner signed the 
final* agreement and the maps relating to this section of 
the frontier. He then took his departure. 

The New Afghan Commissioner. Sirdar Muhammad 
Umar Khan, Chief of the Nurzai Durrani tribe, the 
new representative of the Amir for the second section 
of the frontier, met McMahon at New Chaman early in 
March. 1 Owing to intrigues by interested persons he 
attempted to reopen the boundary question which had 
been already settled in the neighbourhood of New 
Chaman, but this was firmly resisted. 

The Temporary Break-up of the Mission. His attitude, 
Jiowever, made progress extremely difficult and it took 
over a month to demarcate the boundary to a point only 
some thirty miles from Chaman. The position then 
became impossible, owing to the unreasonable claims 

1 A good account of the second section of this Boundary Commission and of the 
Seistan Mission may be read in The Frontiers of Baluchistan, by G. P. Tate. 


made by the Afghan Commissioner who, although 
personally willing to accept McMahon's proposals, dared 
not do so in view of the opposition of the headmen 
attached to his staff by the Amir, Consequently, in June, 
the British Mission broke up temporarily, to allow the 
Government of India to negotiate with the Amir. 

The Reassembly of the Mission and Fresh Difficulties. 
In January 1896 the work of the Commission recom- 
menced and so did the difficulties. The Viceroy had 
conceded the district of Iltaz Karez to the Afghans and 
the Amir had agreed, in consideration of this concession, 
that the boundary should follow straight lines from 
point to point. However, to his Commissioner he had 
merely written that " he was to use his wits and be careful 
that he was not taken in." 

The Boundary demarcated to Robat. There was much 
discussion about an area known as Bahram Chah, but the 
Afghans had practically run out of supplies, except such 
as were furnished by the British and were anxious to 
complete the work: so finally, the boundary was de- 
marcated up to Robat, where there was a supply of good 

The March across the Desert. From Robat,, it was 
decided that the two Commissioners should take Small 
parties to the Kuh-i-Malik Siah. The distances from one 
watering-place to the next, on occasions, were fifty miles 
and, in one case, seventy miles, which necessitated carry- 
ing a water-supply for two or three days on the unfor- 
tunate camels, who suffered great hardships as, owing 
to a prolonged drought, there was no moisture in the 
dried-up bushes on which they fed. The marches were 
made at night to avoid the heat of the day, but the 
lack of competent guides, and the sandstorms which 
obliterated the tracks of the caravan, nearly caused the 
loss of individuals belonging to both parties, while th$ 
heat by day was severe. There were many escapes from 
horned vipers and other poisonous snakes, which abound 
in arid Baluchistan. 

The Kuh-i-Taftan. As the Commissioners approached 
the Persian frontier the white summit of Kuh-i-Taftan, 


rising to a height of 13,270 feet, was visible, and, on 
reaching the border, abundant supplies of good water were 
found, while some sheep were purchased. McMahon 
notes that for a space of nine weeks only three inhabitants 
of this desolate area had been seen ! 

The Cairn erected on Kuh-i-Malik Siah. The Gaud-i- 
Zireh, a salt lake some twenty-five miles wide, which is 
mentioned in the motto, was next visited. The long two 
years' task was now practically completed and, on 
April 1 6, 1896, a massive stone cairn was built on the 
summit of the trijunction of the three states, amid general 
rejoicings. The two Commissioners met again at Robat 
and, in May 1896, the final agreements and maps, 
dealing with a boundary line measuring 470 miles, were 
completed and signed. 

The Results. The total length of the boundary 
which had been delimitated and demarcated between 
March 1894 and May 1896, amounted to 800 miles. 
The question of securing for the railhead at New Chaman, 
not only the valuable water-supply as negotiated by 
Durand, but also sufficient room for its future growth, 
was perhaps the most important military question to be 
settled^ Of some importance, however, was the inclusion 
in Btitisft Baluchistan of Chagai, which, in spite of protests, 
had been held for many years by the Amir. 

The Benefits to Afghanistan. The benefits to 
Afghanistan were also considerable. There is nothing 
which causes more hostility between neighbouring 
peoples than a disputed boundary, and the removal of 
this cause along a long boundary line, together with the 
gradual incorporation of its tribes in the two adminis- 
trations, made for peace and progress. 

In conclusion, there is a saying that " when Allah the 
Almighty created the world, Baluchistan was formed 
/rom the refuse material." Only those who like myself 
have travelled widely in this desert country can realize 
the constant difficulty of procuring food, forage and 
grazing, while the scanty water supplies would almost 
invariably be described as undrinkable on medical 
analysis. Much credit is then due to the members of 


both Commissions who, in the face of hardships and 
risks, successfully completed a most important task. 

The Seistan Arbitration Commission. In January 1903, 
McMahon left Quetta at the head of a Mission, to act as 
British Commissioner and Arbitrator between Afghan 
and Persian claims in the delta province of Seistan. In 
Chapter XXXVI I have given an account of the Goldsmid 
Mission which constituted the Helmand as the boundary. 
It also laid down somewhat vaguely the Kuh-i-Malik 
Siah as " a fitting point " to the south, while " a line 
drawn from the Naizar or Reed Area to the Kuh Siah 
near Bandan constituted the north-west terminal point ". 
As already described, General Goldsmid was seriously 
hampered both by the local authorities and by the 
Persian Commissioner and was unable to obtain a 
thorough knowledge of the country. Such, then, was 
the state of affairs, which worked without serious local 
troubles, until in 1896 a new situation developed by the 
Helmand changing its course westwards and creating a 
new main channel known as the Rud-i-Parian. 

The Situation in 1899. When I founded the British 
Consulate in Seistan, in 1899, I speedily realized that the 
change in the course of the Helmand created an entirely 
new situation. 1 I travelled widely in the cultivated area 
and, crossing the Rud-i-Parian, entered the district of 
Mian Kangi, which was covered with a dense growth of 
tamarisk some twenty feet high. It was formerly thickly 
populated, as was proved by a number of mounds rising 
perhaps eighty feet above the surrounding country, on 
some of which were ruins of fortified villages. 

Reaching a shallow dry river-bed some thirty feet 
wide, I was at first inclined to doubt the guide's statement 
that this was the old bed of the Helmand. But there was 
no doubt about it nor of the fact that the Sikhsar, as it, 
was termed, was still considered to mark the boundary. 
Northwards from a low mound termed the Tappa-i- 
Tildi the eye ranged over miles of thirsty ground covered 
with the dry roots of reeds. In the absence of life-giving 

1 Ten Thousand Miles in Persia, pp. 361-393. 


water there was the stillness of death. 

Russian Intrigues. It seems probable that no serious 
disputes would have arisen between the Afghans and 
Persians there were none when I was in Seistan but 
for the arrival on the scene, in 1900, of M. Miller, who, 
as Russian Consul, exerted his undoubted talents to 
create mischief between the two nations, hoping thereby 
to be appointed to settle their differences. Owing to the 
tension which was created through his intrigues, a 
Persian Commissioner, Yamin-i-Nizam, was appointed 
to settle boundary disputes with an Afghan Commissioner, 
Musa Khan of Herat. The latter made fruitless attempts 
to meet the Persian Commissioner, who treated him with 
gross discourtesy, and the Governor of Chakansur brought 
matters to a climax by occupying an important Persian 
village in Mian Kangi. This act caused the situation to 
become really serious, and the Persian Government, under 
the terms of Article 6 of the Treaty of 1 857, called upon 
the British to intervene. Arbitration was then accepted 
by both the Afghan and Persian Governments, with the 
right of appeal to the British Foreign Minister. 

The Composition of the British Mission. The Mission 
comprised 1 1 British officers, with an escort of 200 
infantry *and 60 cavalry. Its total strength amounted to 
1500 officers and men, 156 horses, 2200 baggage and 
50 riding camels. A large staff of surveyors, levellers 
and draughtsmen was included, while skilled artisans of 
all kinds completed a body of men especially well con- 
stituted for their very difficult task. There was no 
intention, on this occasion, of permitting His Majesty's 
Commissioner to be flouted and baffled by local un- 
friendliness. 1 

The March of the Mission to Seistan. The Mission left 
Quetta on January 10, 1903, in severe weather. On its 
Arrival at Khwaja AH on the Helmand, on February 4, 
it was received by the Afghans with honour. Further on, 
in Rudbar, the Afghan Commissioner, Akhundxada Fakir 
Muhammad Khan, Governor of Chakansur, joined it, and 

1 Vide " Recent Survey and Exploration in Seistan ", by Colonel Sir Henry McMahon, 
Gcog. Journ., Sept. and Oct. 1906. 



on February 20 it camped at Khwabgah opposite the 
Band-i-Seistan. To mark the friendly feelings of the 
Amir a detachment of Afghan cavalry and infantry was 
ordered to form the personal escort of the British Com- 
missioner, while the members of the Mission were treated 
as the guests of the Amir during their stay in Afghan 

Further Russian Intrigues. As already stated, the 
disputes regarding the Seistan boundary and irrigation 
canals were mainly the result of mischievous instigation 
by the Russian Consul, M. Miller, 1 who hoped by these 
means to secure Russian intervention. When, however, 
these disputes were referred to the British Government, 
every effort was made by Russia to persuade Persia to 
withdraw from the arbitration. The importance of the 
differences was minimized on the one hand while, on the 
other, the Persians were informed that the British un- 
doubtedly intended to seize the fertile province; or, 
failing that, to cede a large part of it to Afghanistan. The 
Russians urged their right to be represented in the 
Mission, but this was denied by the British, and McMahon 
received instructions accordingly. 

Failing in this direction, the Persian Commissioners, 
the Yamin-i-Nizam and the Karguzar, or Foreign Office 
Agent, were reminded of the insults to which the Gold- 
smid Mission had been subjected, and were urged to 
repeat the same tactics. Incidentally the Karguzar was 
the nephew of the obstructive Masum Khan, while his 
Assistant was the son of that official! In short, every 
effort was made by the Russian representative, who was 
aided and abetted by the Persian Commissioners, to 
ensure the failure of the Mission and to reduce British 
arbitration to a farce. 

The Claims of the Persian Officials. Upon the arrival 
of the Arbitration Mission in Seistan the Persian Com-^ 
missioners were informed by their Government that the 
arbitration applied only to water questions. McMahon, 

1 M. Miller founded the Russian Consulate at Kerman in 1904, where he also dis- 
played considerable energy in anti-British intrigue without, however, gaining any marked 


however, insisted on their accompanying him along the 
portion of the boundary that was disputed. They con- 
tended that the award map of Sir Frederic Goldsmid was 
no authority and that in the section south of Kuhak the 
boundary should run not in a straight line to Kuh-i-Malik 
Siah but should include the Tarakun tract. Northwards 
it followed the Helmand and the Sikhsar channel and 
thence northwards to the northern edge of the hamun 
and so to Siah Kuh. 

The Afghan Claims. The Afghan Commissioner, on 
the contrary, considered that the line shown on Goldsmid's 
award map constituted the sole authority on the subject. 
To summarize these views: the Persians based their 
claims on their own interpretation of the award and 
professed complete ignorance as to the map, while the 
Afghans knew nothing about the award and insisted upon 
strict adherence to the map. 

The Decisions taken by McMahon. McMahon had 
ordered a new survey of the area to be made on a large 
scale, and based on this, in spite of difficulties caused 
by the complete change in the landscape, he decided on 
a line which fulfilled the conditions laid down by Goldsmid. 
Starting^ northwards from Kuhak, no question as to the 
boundary arose until Mian Kangi was reached. There 
the Afghans had encroached to the west of the old 
Helmand, and McMahon decided to take advantage of 
a number of mounds, Tappa-i-Tilai, Tappa-i-Shahraki 
and Tappa-i-Kurki, which ran parallel to the Sikhsar, 
since the ancient bed of the Helmand, shrunk to a small 
dry ditch, would have been unsuitable for the purpose. 
Continuing northwards along a spit of land which con- 
tained a miserable village, Takht-i-Shah, the subject of 
much discussion, and which ended at Shalghami, he 
decided to draw the line east of this tract and from 
halgami straight to the terminal point at Siah Kuh, 
which was also called Nar Ahu. Southwards from 
Kuhak he decided upon a straight line to Malik-Siah 

The Attitude of the Persian Government. Such were 
the decisions arrived at, but the Persian Government, 


frightened by the Russian Legation into the belief that 
British arbitration would result in large portions of 
Persian Seistan being ceded to Afghanistan, still con- 
tended that no boundary questions were involved. How- 
ever, in June 1903, an opportune quarrel over the dis- 
puted lands on the frontier, in which some Afghans were 
wounded, gave McMahon the desired opportunity of 
intervening, and he issued an arbitrary order in the form 
of an intermediate award, laying down the boundary 
along the mounds mentioned above and calling upon 
both Commissioners to order their respective subjects to 
observe it. 

The Acceptance of McMahon' s Decision. After much 
intrigue at Tehran, in which the Russian Legation took 
a leading part, the Persian Government, in November 
1903, finally accepted McMahon's line unconditionally. 
The Afghan Commissioner, whose attitude throughout 
these tedious years deserves a special tribute, also agreed 
to it, but stated that the Amir might think it unbecoming 
to his dignity to show undue alacrity in expressing his 
approval. This supposition proved to be entirely correct, 
and it was not until September 1904 that the news of 
the acceptance of the award by His Highness^ eached 
McMahon. The demarcation was then carried out to 
the genuine satisfaction of those most intimately con- 

Summary. The British Commission had spent over 
two years suffering from heat and cold and from insect 
pests which took a very heavy toll of camels and horses. 
The force of the blizzards was also terrific, one being 
recorded with a velocity of 120 miles an hour, which 
constitutes a record. 

Worse than these plagues was the fact that in the 
winter of 1904-1905 a serious outbreak of hydrophobia 
infected the dogs, jackals and wolves of the country, whc 
went mad and attacked men and animals. On the night 
that the great storm was raging, mad wolves attacked 
the camp and bit seventy-eight camels, of whom more 
than one half subsequently developed hydrophobia. But 
the culminating tragedy was the death of Shaykh 


Mohiuddin, a gallant surveyor, who, penetrating into 
the unexplored Dasht-i-Margo with a small party, lost 
his life from thirst. One of his chain-men with supreme 
heroism wrapped the precious map round his body and, 
half unconscious, tottered off with his comrades. He 
alone was succoured by an Afghan. This expedition cost 
seven valuable lives. 

To conclude: the strategical position of Seistan with 
reference to the security of the Indian Empire made it 
an objeqt of a political attack by Russia at a period when, 
as is shown in Chapter XLIX, Anglo-Russian relations 
were undergoing a crisis. Thus the task that McMahon 
undertook was rendered doubly difficult, and its successful 
accomplishment proves the courage, tact and patience 
which he displayed, while he was loyally supported by 
his staff, his escort and the native followers. 

The Frontier from Seistan to the Hashtadan Plain. 
In 1935 General Fakhur-ud-Din Altai, a Turkish officer, 
was appointed arbitrator between the Persian and Afghan 
Governments, with a mission to settle the Perso-Afghan 
boundary on the undefined section from Siah Kuh, in 
the vici^jty of Bandan, to a point where General MacLean, 
in 1891, demarcated the boundary of the Hashtadan 

The new boundary at first runs due north, keeping 
well to the west of the assumed line. In 1899 I followed 
a parallel route along it and, from Duruh, I climbed the 
range to the east. It rises to an altitude of 6000 feet and 
on its summit I found a fort of solid construction with 
three or four empty water-tanks. I enjoyed an extensive 
view eastwards, where the ranges sank down to the 
aptly named Dasht-i-Naumid or " Desert of Despair ". 
Farther north, the fort at Tabas Sunnikhana, a fertile 
district, was said to have been built by the architect who 
designed the Herat fort. The new boundary line from 
opposite Duruh turns north-north-west and then north- 
north-east to Yezdan, around which it circles, thus 
leaving that village to Persia. From the vicinity of 
Yezdan the boundary swings north-west for a short 


distance, but finally resumes a general north-north-west 
direction to latitude 34 15'. There it bends due east to 
the previously demarcated point 39 on the Hashtadan 

The Arbitral Award on the Hastadan Plain. The 
question of the frontier in this area had caused much 
local ill-feeling, but an application for the good offices of 
the British Government resulted in an arbitral award 
given by Major-General C. S. MacLean in i88 and, 
in 1891, the boundary was duly demarcated by that 

The Completion of the Boundaries of Afghanistan, 
From the Hashtadan area the Perso-Afghan boundary 
strikes the Hari Rud at the point where it bends to the 
north, and this river continues to be the frontier to 
Zulfikar Pass, where our survey ends. 

It is impossible to conclude the account of these 
Boundary Commissions, which were carried through 
under such difficulties and with some loss of life, without 
paying a tribute to the magnificent services of the British 
and Indian officials who endured so greatly and who, 
supported throughout by loyal staffs and followers, 
achieved so much for the benefit of Afghanistan. 



Afghanistan is the door of India, and the safety of India depends on keeping 
that door Strong and shut. KING HABIBULLA KHAN. 

The Situation after the Death of Abdur Rahman. When 
the Amir was at the point of death the princes and leading 
officials, who had been warned, assembled in the Bagh-i- 
Bala palace. During the night of October I, upon the 
announcement of his death, a high official took the late 
Ruler's kulla and, setting it on Habibulla's head, declared 
him Amir. The princes and officials approved the act, 
and, taking him by the hand, one by one proffered their 
allegiance to him. 1 Habibulla then proceeded to the 
Ark, situated inside Kabul, which was strongly held by 
reliable troops, and contained the arsenal and treasury; 
in the'ittorning, the corpse of the Amir was also brought 
to the same stronghold. 

Rumours of Risings and the Burial of Abdur Rahman. 
It was generally expected that, as was customary, there 
would be a mutiny of the troops, and the citizens pre- 
pared for trouble by burying their jewels, strengthening 
their poor defences and buying up supplies. Wild men 
from the countryside, clad in rags, appeared in the city 
bazaars like vultures, and added to the apprehension that 
was felt. It was also rumoured that there was a plot to 
seize and cut into pieces the late Amir's body on the way 
to the tomb, which he had constructed outside Kabul, 
but this plot, if it existed, was foiled by the burial, on the 
morning of October 2, of the corpse close to the Ark. 

The spirit of the soldiers was undoubtedly mutinous, 
but the policy of the late Amir which permitted no dis- 

1 Under the Absolute Amir, by Frank A. Martin, 1907, p. 127 et seq. 



tinguished soldier, nor indeed any subject, to become 
powerful, and had concentrated all authority in the hands 
of Habibulla, averted this very real danger. 

Sirdar Habibulla Khan proclaimed Amir. On October 
3, 1901, Sirdar Habibulla was proclaimed Amir of 
Afghanistan. The ceremony was both religious and civil. 
The religious ceremony was conducted by the chief mulla 
of the Juma Masjid, who, after praying, wound a lungi 
of white muslin round the head of the Sirdar. A Koran 
and relics of the Prophet were then presented to him, 
after which he was declared to be duly elected Amir of 

At the civil ceremony Sirdar Nasrulla Khan placed 
the late Amir's kulla on his brother's head; the late 
Amir's sword was also presented to him. Habibulla then 
made a speech in which he swore to keep Afghanistan 
intact, to repel foreign aggression and to promote reforms. 
He also promised to abolish the hated spy system. 
Habibulla, whose mother was the daughter of the Mir 
of Badakhshan, had been born at Samarkand and was 
thirty-two years of age at the time of his accession. 

Habibulla announces his Accession to the Viceroy. In 
India grave anxiety, based on alarming rumour^ in the 
bazaars, naturally prevailed but, on October 10, Curzon 
received a letter from Habibulla Khan informing him 
that " he had been accepted by the army and nation as the 
lawful sovereign of Afghanistan ". " My duty ", he 
added, " is to behave in the same manner as my revered 
father used to do, and I will be a friend of his friends and 
avoid his enemies." x 

Lord Curzon s invitation to the New Amir. In view of 
the fact that the treaty with the late Amir was considered 
by the Viceroy to be a personal one, although that was 
not at all certain, it was decided to inform His Highness 
that the Agreements with his father could not be renewed* 
without a discussion of various difficult questions, and he 
was invited to pay a visit to the Viceroy for the purpose. 
Unfortunately Curzon's dictatorial attitude to the late 

1 In this section I have consulted The Life of Lord Curzon, by the Earl of Ronaldahay, 
three vols., 1928. 


Amir had not tended towards an improvement in Anglo- 
Afghan relations. This is clearly shown by the statement 
made later by Amir Habibulla at a durbar held on August 
21, 1907. On this occasion His Highness, referring to 
Lord Minto's invitation to him to visit India in 1906, 
declared: " Before this, Lord Curzon also invited me to 
India, but his letter was not really a letter of invitation; 
it was a threat that the subsidy would be stopped if I did 
not obey the summons ". 

The Reply of Habibulla. In his reply to the invitation 
of the Viceroy, Habibulla denied that there had been any 
misunderstanding between the Government of India and 
his father. He wrote: " My kind friend, I am fully 
convinced that there is not a single thing, either big or 
small, omitted from the terms of the Agreement, or which 
would now be deserving of description or record ". 

The non-acceptance by Habibulla of the Viceroy's 
invitation to meet him at Peshawar in the spring of 1902 
was a grievous disappointment to Curzon. He had been 
most favourably impressed by the new Amir on the 
occasion of his visit to Kabul, and had described him as 
" a very charming personality who talked with a wisdom 
and ser^e far beyond his years ". Also he had felt that, 
upon the death of the old Amir, he would be able to place 
Afghan affairs on a more satisfactory footing. 

The Views of Habibulla on the Agreement. Added to 
his disappointment was the rigid adherence of the new 
Amir to the view that the Agreement made by the 
Government of India with Abdur Rahman was binding 
on that body as regards himself, and that there was no 
need for a new Agreement. Early in June Curzon 
repeated his invitation but received no reply. 

The Views of Lord Curzon and of the British Govern- 
ment. The anxiety of Curzon was increased at this 
juncture by rumours, which gained some credit on the 
North- West Frontier, that the Amir was considering an 
alliance with Russia. The stage was set for a great 
durbar at Delhi in the following January, and Curzon 
informed the Secretary of State that, unless the Amir 
responded to his overtures, he would, upon the con- 


elusion of the ceremony, write a stern letter, in language 
that would compel a reply, upbraiding him for his dis- 
loyal and unfriendly attitude and requiring definite 
assurances from him. Curzon's attitude in demanding a 
new treaty before paying the subsidy and giving promises 
of protection was identical with that of Lytton which, as 
we know, led to the Second Afghan War, The British 
Government, on the other hand, took the view that the 
Amir would probably become more friendly if promises 
of the subsidy and of British protection were given first 
and other questions were raised later. In any case the 
Cabinet strongly objected to " any action likely to entail 
military operations ". 

The Letter of Habibulla. Fortunately the danger of 
a breach with Afghanistan was averted by the receipt, on 
December 12, 1902, of a letter from the Amir, which 
renewed his protestations of friendship and contained his 
acceptance of British arbitration in Seistan, a question 
which has been dealt with in the previous chapter. 
Although this letter was not wholly satisfactory, it opened 
the way for a resumption of normal relations. 

The Dane Mission to Kabul. During the course of 
further negotiations and inquiries, it appeared^hat the 
unwillingness of the Amir to visit India was partly due 
to the risks that he might run as to the stability of his 
position by leaving Afghanistan. It was therefore decided 
to despatch Mr. (later Sir Louis) Dane on a Mission to 
Kabul. He was instructed to insist that the engagements 
made with Abdur Rahman were personal; he was to 
embody in a treaty the assurances given to Abdur Rahman 
in 1880; he was to insist on the absolute control 
by the British Government of the foreign relations of 
Afghanistan; he was to offer the Amir the personal 
subsidy of 18 lakhs granted to his father, provided he 
displayed a friendly spirit and carried out the stipulations 
of the Treaty. Other points were that the Amir should 
assume a benevolent attitude towards the projected 
railways in the Khaibar and Kurram; that the British 
Agent at Kabul and the News-writer at Kandahar should 
be treated with greater courtesy, while the question of 


more liberal trade relations was to be discussed. There 
was also the question of the subsidy which had been 

The Negotiations. Furnished with a draft treaty 
which, in substance, repeated the old engagements, Dane 
entered Afghan territory on November 28, 1904, and, 
stopping to repair the cairn l on Forty-fourth Hill, which 
had been erected by his cousin Major Waller, he reached 
Kabul a fortnight later. At the formal durbar held on 
December 14, and at the first business interview on the 
following day, the Amir, whose utterances were friendly, 
evinced anxiety to arrange for some scheme of military 
co-operation. Indeed, he went so far as to suggest a 
combined attack on Russia, which Power was, at that 
time, involved in war with Japan. 

Dane had been instructed to advise the Amir that 
his troops were not sufficiently well organized or equipped 
to support a serious attack by a Russian army, and that 
if he desired assistance from Great Britain he must 
co-operate by the improvement of communications be- 
tween India and Kabul, and by arranging for consulta- 
tion with British military experts. 

Th\ reply of the Amir was that he fully realized that 
his army could not resist Russia unaided and that he 
relied on British support. He was not, however, pre- 
pared to allow the construction of a railway from Peshawar 
to Kabul since that would be regarded by all his subjects 
as a spear pointed at the heart of Afghanistan. He went 
on to say that he and his advisers believed that, with 
British support in munitions and money, the Afghans 
could effectively hold the Hindu Kush range. But, at 
the same time, they clearly realized that they could 
not face the Russians in the open country of Western 
Afghanistan, on which side the main attack would 
probably be delivered. If the British would accept the 
task of guarding their western frontier, land would be 
given them for a railway or road along the Helmand and 
also for a cantonment in the fertile area of Seistan, 
Furthermore, the Amir proposed a continuation of the 

i Vide Chapter XXXII. 


railway or road northwards to Hashtadan situated to the 
south-west of Herat, where a second cantonment would 
be constructed. " That ", he emphatically declared, 
" would constitute a shield for Afghanistan. 1 ' 

In reporting this far-reaching scheme, Dane urged 
that were cold water thrown on it, the negotiations in 
hand would suffer, and that the matter should receive 
consideration. Curzon, however, curtly replied that 
Dane was not authorised to discuss the scheme but that, 
if the Amir visited India, it would be dealt witlj by the 
proper authorities. 

Dane perforce discouraged the Amir's project of an 
attack on Russia, while he was not able to give any support 
to his military scheme, which, to some extent, was 
actually carried out by the British in the last Great War 
by the construction of a railway from Nushki, through 
British Baluchistan and crossing the Persian frontier to 
the south of Seistan. He also could not hold out any 
hopes of an increased subsidy, another advantage that 
the Amir and his Councillors had hoped to secure. 

These discouraging statements caused a marked 
change in the atmosphere. The Amir and his Coun- 
cillors, who were mortified at their military scher^ being 
entirely ignored, became resentful and suspicious. 

The Amir produces a Draft Treaty. On January i , 
1 905, the Amir, who had persistently refused to sign the 
treaty drafted by the Government of India, brought 
matters to a head by producing a draft treaty of his own, 
which, he stated, represented the utmost limits to which 
he would go. In this remarkable document x he asserted 
that in matters great and small he had acted and would 
continue to act in accordance with the Agreement made 
by Abdur Rahman, This draft was not considered 
acceptable by the Government of India, and Dane, 
realizing the danger of a deadlock, attempted to help* 
matters by announcing that the intention of the Govern- 
ment of India was to pay up the arrears of the subsidy. 
The Amir and his Councillors were, however, deeply 
chagrined by the refusal to discuss their scheme for 

1 It is given as Appendix D. 


military co-operation, on which they had evidently set 
their hearts. They also considered that Russia had been 
made powerless for many years to come by her defeats 
at the hands of Japan, and that Afghanistan was strong 
enough to deal with the Northern Power in case of 
hostilities. Furthermore, there was the feeling that 
Great Britain had yielded to Russia in insisting on the 
evacuation by Afghanistan of Roshan and Shignan, 
whereas, if left to themselves, the Afghans believed that 
they could have retained both provinces. Consequently, 
the attitude was assumed by the arrogant Sirdars^ his 
councillors, that the alliance was much more necessary 
for the British than for themselves, and that they could 
therefore dictate the terms of any treaty they vouchsafed 
to negotiate. The situation was furthermore adversely 
affected by the Amir's serious illness, which lasted from 
January 12 to the beginning of March, with the un- 
fortunate result that Sirdar Nasrulla Khan and Abdul 
Kuddus Khan, the First Councillor and the Kotwal of 
Kabul, who were both extremely fanatical and anti-British, 
dominated the negotiations during this period. Later, 
the return of Sirdar Inayatulla Khan, the eldest son of the 
Amir, from a visit to India where he had been shown 
much hospitality and friendliness, influenced Habibulla 
as did his father-in-law who had accompanied the young 
Sirdar. These facts and the recovery of His Highness 
secured a more friendly attitude. 

The Amir's Treaty. The situation was, however, a 
difficult one. Curzon advocated that, unless the Amir was 
prepared to make some advance towards accepting the 
views of the Government of India, Dane should be 
instructed to leave Kabul. The British Government, 
however, decided to accept the Amir's treaty, which did, 
at any rate, include the obligations undertaken by his 

The Signing of the Treaty. This treaty was accord- 
ingly signed on March 21, the Afghan New Year's Day. 
As the Amir was affixing his signature, he shook some ink 
from his pen over the English copy of the parchment 
and exclaimed: " It is spoilt; we must write out other 


treaties''. Dane, a notable Persian scholar, replied: 
" This is only a mole on the fair face of the treaty ", 
and quoted from Hafiz: " If this Shiraz beauty will 
accept my heart, for her Hindu-dark mole I will give 
Samarkand and Bukhara ". This apt quotation eased 
the situation, but Abdul Kuddus exclaimed: " See, Your 
Majesty, Mr. Dane gives you Samarkand and Bukhara ". 
But Dane's prompt reply was: " Nay, the mole is on the 
face of the British treaty and for this the Amir abandons 
Samarkand and Bukhara ". The treaty is still known as 
" The Treaty of the Mole ". It must be remembered 
that the engagements made with Abdur Rahman referred 
to in Chapter XLIII were contained in letters written 
to various authorities. Some doubt was expressed by 
Sirdar Nasrulla Khan as to their authenticity. Con- 
sequently, after verification, these letters were attached 
to the treaty. 

The Results of the Mission. It cannot be claimed that 
this mission was successful in carrying out many import- 
ant questions that would, it was hoped, be settled. How- 
ever, the Amir agreed to demarcate the Mohmand 
boundary at an early date; he showed no hostility to the 
proposed railways in the Khaibar Pass and the Kurram 
Valley, while he somewhat improved the status and treat- 
ment of the British agent at Kabul and of the news- 
writers at Kandahar and Herat. Perhaps the best result 
that was achieved was the contact by the British Com- 
missioner and members of his staff, with officials, officers 
and other Afghans during their three months' residence 
in Kabul. It lessened the fanatical, suspicious attitude of 
the Amir's Councillors and subjects while he himself, in 
spite of his unfortunate illness, was courteous throughout. 

When it was known that the Amir's treaty was to be 
signed, both the Amir and his Councillors became 
extremely friendly. They had every reason to feel 
satisfied. In addition to having had his own way as 
regards the treaty, Habibulla had gained the acknowledge- 
ment of the British Government that he was " Independent 
King of Afghanistan and its Dependencies ". Independ- 
ence was the dearest wish of the Amir and of all Afghans. 


The Views of the Government of India. Lord Curzon's 
Government in their despatch forwarding the report on 
the Dane mission wrote, in May 1905: " The one 
satisfaction to which we may look is that the Amir, 
having obtained his main objects and obtained them in 
his own way, appears to have been left by the British 
Mission in a favourable and friendly frame of mind. It 
is not denied that such an attitude is in itself more 
valuable than any paper stipulations, but for the value to 
be substantial, the attitude must be lasting. We have 
yet to ap|)ly it to the test of every-day experience." 

The Secretary of State for India on the Mission. In 
June 1905, Mr. Brodrick (later, the Earl of Midleton) 
declared that: " It was not the case that the negotiations 
had resulted in failure. As stated by Lord Lansdowne, 
the main objects of our negotiations with the Amir of 
Afghanistan were, first, to renew the agreements entered 
into with the late Amir, and, secondly, to have friendly 
negotiations with him, with regard to a number of sub- 
sidiary points. The first object was achieved by an 
Agreement that covered all the engagements entered into 
by the Amir Abdur Rahman. We also arrived at a 
thoroughly friendly understanding with the Amir on a 
number *J>f subsidiary points." Lord Midleton, in his 
Records and Reactions^ sums up: " It would thus appear 
that the experienced Anglo-Indians on the Council were 
more than right in warning us that the alternative 
hectoring policy might have led us into the same morass 
as Lord Ellenborough and Lord Lytton found themselves 
before ".' 

The Credit due to Sir Louis Dane. It was pleasing to 
note that, in spite of his failure to secure a complete settle- 
ment, there was no question as to the ability and courage 
shown by the British representative while contending 

tr the principles and objects originally put forward, 
qually praiseworthy was the dignity with which he 
acted on the orders to accept the proposals of the Amir. 
Looking back on these negotiations and realizing the 
weakness of Habibulla's position, together with the 

' p. i 99 . 


fanatical, anti-foreign feelings of his advisers and his 
subjects, it was essential for the Amir to prove that he 
had won success in his negotiations with the British, This 
he undoubtedly did and thereby was inclined to be 
friendly, which attitude led to his important visit to India 
in 1907. Accepting this point of view, it would appear 
that the treaty Sir Louis Dane signed was a good treaty. 
Finally, Curzon's appeal to history warrants it as such. 
The immediate result was the visit of the Amir to India 
and the ultimate result was the loyal adherence of His 
Majesty to his treaty obligations under conditions of 
considerable difficulty and danger throughout the course 
of the Great War. 



In the name of Allah. Dated Jamrud, March 7, 1907. At the time of 
returning from my journey to India, and of re-entering Afghan territory. 

My tourin India, which has lasted sixty-four days, has given me so much 
pleasure that I cannot find words to express it. Every kindness has been shown 
to me by the Government of India, His Excellency the Viceroy, the Commander- 
in-Chief, and other Military officers and Civil authorities in India, and I have 
found them all friends. 

I am able to declare that, during this short tour in India, I have made more 
true friends for the Government of Afghanistan and for myself than I could 
have made in twenty years had I not come from Afghanistan to India. 
Autograph Message of His MAJESTY THE AMIR to Reuter. 

Lord Minto's Invitation to the Amir. During the 
early months of 1 906, it had been reported from various 
sources that the Amir, if invited to pay a friendly visit to 
India, would probably accept. Lord Minto l accordingly 
despatched a warm invitation in June 1906, outlining a 
programme, which would include some big game shoot- 
ing. The Amir in his reply asked that it should be under- 
stood that his visit would be purely a friendly one and 
that there would be no discussion of the recently signed 
treaty. This assurance he required in order to satisfy 
the suspicions of his subjects and thereby gain their 
approval of his acceptance. It appears that the anti- 
British Nasrulla Khan opposed the whole project and 
had asked permission to undertake the pilgrimage to 
Mecca, but was informed that he must act as Regent 
in the absence of the Amir. 

The Acceptance of the Invitation. In August at a 
Burbar the Amir said: " I cannot hesitate to accept the 
invitation of His Excellency, which is couched in such 
terms of friendship, expressing a desire for an interview 
between friends ". 

1 Mary, Countess of Minto has very kindly read through this and the following 
chapter. Her help has been moat valuable. 

VOL. II 225 Q 


The Amir's Staff and Escort. Having decided to 
visit India, the Amir selected the Sirdars who were to 
accompany him, some of whom it was not prudent to 
leave in Afghanistan during his absence. The total of 
his party, which included his bodyguard, cavalry and 
infantry, aggregated some 1 100 officers and men. During 
his absence he arranged for Sirdar Nasrulla Khan to 
assume full powers, while Sirdar Inayatulla Khan was 
placed in charge of the army, but under the supervision 
of Nasrulla Khan. 

The Reception at Landi Khana, January 2,' 1907. 
The Amir was met upon his arrival at Landi Khana by 
Sir Henry McMahon, who as a member of the Durand 
Mission had made his acquaintance at Kabul in 1893, 
and who had been placed in charge of His Majesty during 
his visit to India. 1 A salute of thirty-one guns was fired, 
but of far greater importance was a cable of welcome 
from the King-Emperor in which, for the first time, he 
was addressed as " His Majesty ". 

The Reception at Agra. Lady Minto gives a brilliant 
description of the reception of the Amir at Agra, of the 
investiture of His Majesty with the Grand Cross of the 
Order of the Bath and of the impression created on him 
by the review of 30,000 British troops. 2 At the banquet 
which followed, the Amir, in reply to the Viceroy's 
speech of welcome, said: " I am very glad that the first 
occasion on which I left my home has been to come to 
my friend's house, and I hope and sincerely trust from 
my heart that I have found a personal friend for myself 
and for my Government, and I am very highly pleased." 

Habibulla and Lord Kitchener. The Amir was enter- 
tained at a banquet by Lord Kitchener who also, apart 
from a review, had arranged a combined artillery and 
cavalry display. The Amir then rode past miles of troops, 
the band of each regiment playing the Afghan Antheiru 
Finally, he was shown the military balloon and made an 
ascent in it. 

The Visit to Aligarh College. The Amir displayed 

1 Sir Henry McMahon has kindly read this chapter. 
2 Minto and Morley, p. 75 et seq. 


the keenest interest in the inspection he made of the 
Moslem College. After examining the students minutely 
in religious ritual, and in obligations of fasting, in his 
speech, much to their surprise, he exhorted them to seek 
Western education. 

The Visit to Gwalior. Later, thanks to the courtesy of 
His Highness the Maharaja, a visit to Gwalior, with its 
beautiful palace and gardens, its well-drilled troops and 
its tiger shooting, was a complete success, more especi- 
ally as, to his delight, the Amir shot a tiger. 

Cawnpore, Delhi and Calcutta. Cawnpore with its 
factories, and Delhi with its historical buildings were 
alike examined in considerable detail, while, at Calcutta, 
the mint, the museum, the zoological gardens, the 
hospitals and, perhaps above all, the shops delighted His 
Majesty, who was indefatigable. He also inspected the 
ordnance factories at Cossipore and Dum-Dum with the 
keenest interest, while he expressed his earnest wish to 
be able to manufacture cordite at Kabul. On another 
day he was taken round the docks, which deeply impressed 
an inhabitant of Afghanistan who had never seen a ship. 
To turn to another question, as was perhaps to be 
expectecj from the ruler of a nation clad in sheepskin, he 
severely criticized the fat bare calves of the Bengalis, 
while their scanty clothing made him remark: " If the 
British after 250 years of rule, have not managed to 
induce them to wear more clothes, it shows that they 
were not intended by nature to improve! " This attitude 
recalls the horror of the ancient Persians at the Greeks 
exercising in a state of nudity. It remains to add that the 
Amir expressed his ardent wish to be initiated into the 
mysteries of freemasonry and, not without some difficulty, 
this was arranged by the Calcutta Lodge. 

The Visit to the British Fleet. At Bombay, where the 
Afghan monarch described the sea as " quite a large 
tank," practice of the big guns in the forts had been 
arranged and the Amir fired a xo-inch gun at a moving 
target some 5000 yards distant. He also was received 
by Admiral Sir E, Poe on H.M.S. Hermes and visited 
the engine-room, watched gun drill, and made detailed 


inquiries into everything. He fired a torpedo at a moving 
target with complete success; and lastly, he fired a 
submerged mine. At dusk he watched the illumination 
of the fleet. 

Karachi and Lahore. Leaving hospitable Bombay 
with deep regret, the voyage to Karachi, where all the 
ships were dressed with flags, was uneventful. After the 
official reception, the Amir steamed to the Manora 
entrance of the harbour where an old hulk was blown to 
atoms by a submarine mine. On the way to Lahore, he 
stopped to inspect the great bridge over the Indus at 
Attock. It is interesting to recall that his father, after 
inspecting it, wrote to Lord Dufferin suggesting various 
changes and improvements in its structure! 

Habibulla was delighted with Lahore, which had 
once been in the possession of his dynasty. He also 
visited the Golden Temple at Amritsar, where he made 
friends with the Sikh priests. " I respect all religions ", 
he said to McMahon, " but despise those who are 
lukewarm in their own faith. " This unusual attitude of 
toleration to the religion of their hereditary enemies dis- 
pleased the Afghan Sirdars, who also resented the Amir's 
open friendliness to British officials and their wives. 

The Islamia College. At Lahore the Amir carried out 
his promise of laying the foundation of the Islamia 
College. His speech ran: " Oh! my Moslem brethren, 
endeavour to acquire knowledge, so that you may not 
wear the clothes of the ignorant. It is your duty to 
acquire knowledge. After your children have thoroughly 
acquainted themselves with the principles and laws of the 
faith of Muhammad, turn their attention towards the 
acquirement of the new sciences, as, unless you acquire 
Western knowledge, you will remain without bread." 
He followed up this excellent advice by making a donation 
of 20,000 rupees towards the building fund and promised 
an annual grant of 12,000 rupees. 

Rawalpindi and Peshawar. Resuming his journey, 
the Amir stopped at Rawalpindi where he visited one 
of the outlying forts. He also inspected the arsenal, 
and was much impressed by the thousands of rifles no 

(Ry favour uf Sir Ijiiiis Dane) 


less than 70,000 being stacked in a single room. He 
then left for Peshawar. 

The Farewell. The Amir awarded various decora- 
tions to the British officers who had served on his staff. 
He presented McMahon with the Order of the Sardari 
of the First Class as a token of high esteem, and, in reply 
to a question, stated that the order had been instituted 
by his father some years ago, but that hitherto it had not 
been awarded to anyone. 

On the morning of March 7, the Amir accompanied 
by McMahon drove up the Khaibar Pass to Landi Kota/ y 
where he accepted the invitation of the officers of the 
Khyber Rifles I to lunch. He then mounted a horse and 
rode slowly along the winding mountain road that leads to 
the British frontier near Landi Khana. There he was met 
by a force of cavalry and large numbers of tribesmen, 
who gave him a vociferous welcome. Finally, after 
embracing McMahon, with tears streaming down his 
cheeks, he rode off down the valley to Kabul. 

Summary. The Amir, upon his arrival in India, dis- 
played a strong vein of suspicion lest some slight to his 
own dignity and the honour of Afghanistan might be 
offered him, but these feelings were soon dissipated by 
the genuine warmth of his reception, and as the days 
passed, he became more and more intimate with the 
officials with whom he was associated. He revealed him- 
self to be a broad-minded, cultured Afghan ruler, pos- 
sessing a remarkably strong character with a great regard 
for truth. Deeply religious, he was singularly free from 
bigotry. On the other hand, he was a shrewd, far-seeing 
man of business, knowing exactly what he wanted and 
taking care to secure it. Above everything, he was an 
ardent patriot, ready to sacrifice himself for his country, 
and staunchly loyal to his friends, so long as his friends 
ijemained loyal to him. He was a good sportsman, a 
good shot and a good mechanic. Curiously enough he 
did not speak Pashtu with any fluency. 

To conclude, friendship with Sir Louis Dane, which 
was sincere, induced Habibulla, in spite of strong opposi- 

1 I am bound to retain the old spelling for this force. 


tion from his advisers, to accept Minto's invitation to 
India. At first, like his brother Nasrulla in London, he 
was suspicious, but gradually it dawned on him that he 
was being treated not only as a King but also as a friend. 
He was deeply impressed by the dignity of the Viceroy 
and the splendour of the official functions. Still more 
deeply was he impressed by the army, the fleet and the 
administration. But most of all was he impressed by the 
personality of Minto, of Kitchener and of many other 
officials whom he met, while he absolutely trusted and 
felt deep affection for McMahon. Realizing, ds he re- 
peatedly stated, that Russia was the enemy of Afghanistan, 
he made up his mind that he would, through thick and 
thin, be loyal to his engagements with Great Britain, 
provided that he was shown equal loyalty and confidence 
in return. History proves how well he kept his word. 

Plot against the Amir. It was noticed that, owing to 
the Amir's warm friendship with his English hosts, the 
members of his entourage considered themselves to have 
been neglected, which was certainly the case. They also 
disliked the pleasure he evinced in English society and 
the courtesy with which he treated Hindus and Sikhs. 
Above all, they resented the fact of his having been 
admitted into the brotherhood of freemasonry. Indeed, 
the admiration for Western civilization which was frankly 
expressed by Habibulla upon his return to Afghanistan, 
went far to alienate his conservative subjects. As a proof 
of these feelings, the mullas of Laghman, whose fanaticism 
was undoubtedly aroused by wild rumours as to his 
actions in India, plotted against the Amir. But the plot 
was discovered and the conspirators were executed. 



Essential as a friendly Afghanistan may be to our position in India, equally 
essential, I submit, is a friendly Russia to our general international position, 
both as regards the actual situation, and also in respect to that in the not distant 
future. . . . We have secured an undertaking with France. That with Russia 
is in its very early infancy, and will require, for reasons which I need not explain, 
careful nurture and treatment. Any serious check to this infant growth may 
kill it before it has advanced in years, and its disappearance would doubtless 
eventually react on our relations with France. . . . SIR ARTHUR NICOLSON 
to Sir Edward Grey, July 1908. 

The Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907 produced a dttente> but not an 
entente. G. P. GOOCH. 

The Anglo-Russian Convention. In this work, when 
dealing with the very important question of the Anglo- 
Russian Convention, I have described it primarily as 
affecting the Anglo-Afghan relations, which is my main 
theme. While acknowledging the importance of the Con- 
vention on our relations with Persia and Tibet, I have 
dealt with these questions in a somewhat less detailed 

Russian Attempts to open up Direct Communication with 
Afghanistan. In 1900 a letter dated February 21, which 
was written by Ignatieff, the Political Officer at Bukhara, 
to the Afghan Commercial Agent, was communicated by 
the Amir to the Government of India. In this document 
Ignatieff expressed the sincere desire that his letter might 
constitute the first step towards direct friendly relations 
between the two countries; the document also contained 
g,n assurance that " Russia had not, and never had enter- 
tained, unfriendly feelings towards Afghanistan ". Refer- 
ence was further made to the movements of Russian 
troops in Transcaspia, which had attracted attention, 
principally owing to their coinciding with the reverses 
sustained by Great Britain in South Africa. 



Count Lamsdorff sought to justify IgnatiefFs action 
and, in London, M. de Staal again raised the question. 1 
Lansdowne replied that His Majesty's Government while 
willing to consider the question in the most friendly 
spirit, would object to any change being made in the 
system hitherto observed without their previous consent, 
and would regard any attempt at such a change as a 
departure from the understanding between the two 
Governments and a contravention of the repeated assur- 
ances of the Russian Government that they considered 
Afghanistan to be entirely outside the sphere 'of their 

Habibulla Khan's Declaration. In September 1902 
Habibulla, at a durbar, read out another Russian com- 
munication urging the opening of trade-routes for 
Russian caravans from the railhead at Kushk to Kabul 
and Herat, and offering in return special trade privileges 
to Afghan traders. The Amir then announced that his 
policy was identical with that of his father and replied 
that all future communications should be addressed 
through the Government of India. The feeling in the 
durbar was hostile, and a Chief exclaimed: " Let this 
Turki dog, who carries messages for Infidels, be beaten 
on the head with shoes, until his hair falls off. This 
should be our answer to the Russians." 

Serious Russo-Afghan Friction in 1903. In the spring 
of 1903 friction had arisen between Russian and Afghan 
officials owing to the alleged destruction of boundary 
pillars in the neighbourhood of Herat and other minor 
incidents. In June it was reported that letters from the 
Governor of Transcaspia, dealing with these questions, 
were being received by the Governor of Herat. Lans- 
downe drew the attention of Count Benckendorff to this, 
only, at first, to receive an evasive reply. But in a Pro- 
Memoria dated September 22, 1903, in dealing with the 
question of the replacement of certain pillars on the Russo- 
Afghan frontier, which the British wished to arrange 

1 I have consulted the admirable Origins of the War, vol. iv, by G. P. Gooch and 
Major H, W. V. Temperley for this chapter. I would also thank the Honble. Harold 
Nicolson for kindly reading it. Vide also Sykes op, cit. vol. ii, pp. 410-415. 


by the despatch of British and Russian officers, but 
which the Russians wished to treat as a purely local 
affair, the Russian minute ended as follows: " Le 
Ministre des Affaires Etrangeres ne peut que reit^rer 
sa ferme decision de suivre le proced indiqu dans ses 
communications anterieures et se fait un devoir d'ajouter 
qu'apres les explications franches qu'il dtait a mSme de 
donner k ce sujet, il consid6re la question dont il s'agit 
comme definitivement close ". 

Lansdowne informed Benckendorff that His Majesty's 
Government deeply resented the tone of the Russian 
communication and had written a long despatch to the 
British Charg d'Affaires at St. Petersburg, which was 
intended as a defence of British conduct and, he was 
afraid he must add, an indictment of that of the Russian 
Government. A copy of this despatch, which had been 
withheld owing to conciliatory communications from 
Lamsdorff, was now handed to Benckendorff to read. 

Anglo-Japanese Treaties^ 1902 and 1905. In 1902, 
Great Britain, renouncing definitely her policy of isola- 
tion, negotiated a treaty with Japan by the terms of 
which, " in the event of either party becoming involved in 
war with a third Power, the other Power was to remain 
fceutral unless any other Power or Powers should join in 
hostilities against that ally, when the contracting party 
will come to its assistance". Three years later, in 1905, 
a Treaty of Alliance was concluded, which bound the 
contracting parties to come to each other's assistance in 
case of unprovoked attack on the part of any other Power 
or Powers ; this treaty was renewed in 1911. 

In October 1905 Sir Charles (later Lord) Hardinge 
asked Count Lamsdorff to express his opinion on the 
Anglo- Japanese Treaty. He replied that it had created 
a most unfavourable impression in Government circles. 
Jrlardinge thereupon pointed out that Russia at great 
cost had constructed a series of strategical railways to 
the frontiers of Afghanistan, which the Russian Govern- 
ment had frequently declared to be outside their sphere 
of influence, and to the very gates of Herat. Their one 
object was to facilitate an attack on Afghanistan or India. 


It was undoubtedly intended that there should be a 
perpetual means of exerting pressure on England by 
military movements on the Afghan frontier and it con- 
stituted a standing menace to India. 1 

Against this point of view it is only fair to note that 
the Russian military authorities believed that, in case of 
hostilities breaking out between the two empires, the 
British would incite the Amir to cross the Oxus at the 
head of the Afghan army and raise the fanatical Moslem 
inhabitants against their Russian masters. They also 
held the view, which cannot be gainsaid, that while Great 
Britain could attack Russia by sea in more than one 
portion of her empire, her rival's only avenue of attack 
was that leading across Afghanistan to India. 

The Resumption of Anglo-Russian Negotiations, 1905. 
Upon the outbreak of war with Japan in 1904, it was 
agreed that negotiations could not be advantageously 
continued, but, in 1 905, Lansdowne, in reply to a question 
by Benckendorff, informed him that British policy towards 
Afghanistan had not changed. He invited Benckendorff, 
in return for this declaration, to give an assurance that 
the Russian Government considered that their policy also 
was unchanged and that they continued to regard Afghan- 
istan as lying wholly outside their sphere of influence. In 
case of this assurance being given, the change desired by 
Russia in the status quo to arrange for the interchange of 
communications between the Russian and Afghan officials 
on non-political questions of a local character would be 
allowed. Benckendorff assured Lansdowne verbally in 
March 1905 that the Russian Government also desired 
that Afghanistan should remain a buffer state. 

The Russo-German Treaty of Bjorkoe, 1905. In July 
of this year it is to be noted that, persuaded by the Kaiser, 
the Tsar signed at Bjorkoe a personal treaty of alliance 
between Russia and Germany, Russia thereby entering 
the orbit of German diplomacy. This treaty was not 
ratified by the ministers of either state, but, shortly after 
signing it, the Kaiser wrote to the Tsar that it was 
directed against England and that France would be 

1 Op. cit. vol. iv, p. 206. 


obliged to join it, thus practically converting it into a 
Pan-European Alliance against England and Japan. His 
efforts to disrupt the Franco-Russian alliance and the 
Anglo-French understanding were also unceasing. It 
thus became clear to Great Britain that continued friction 
with Russia would only have played into the hands of 
the strong pro-German party at the Russian Court. 

The Anglo-Russian Convention^ 1907. Hostilities 
between Russia and Japan were officially ended by the 
Peace Treaty that was signed on August 23, 1905. The 
defeat of Russia produced a readiness among the states- 
men of the Northern Power to effect a settlement with 
Great Britain in Asia. The Agreement that was ulti- 
mately negotiated represented a comprehensive and final 
effort to deal with Anglo-Russian rivalry in Persia, 
Afghanistan and Tibet, 1 the underlying idea being to 
embody in its principles and articles terms that would 
remove all possible causes of friction in the future. 
Generally speaking, the British invited concessions in 
Afghanistan and Tibet, while displaying readiness to make 
sacrifices in Persia. 

The Correspondence between Lord Minto and Lord 
Morley. Early in 1907 Morley informed Minto that 
negotiations for an Anglo-Russian Convention were on 
foot and sent him an outline. Minto in his reply especially 
deprecated the concession of direct communication be- 
tween Russian and Afghan officials. He also wrote: " It 
seems to me that, in entering into any agreement with 
Russia affecting Afghanistan, unbeknown to the Amir, 
we stand to lose a friendship of incalculable value, not 
only in respect to the defence of India, but as regards 
a frontier war ", 2 

During the course of the negotiations, the former 
question was dropped, but Morley, although the Foreign 
Office supported Minto's statesmanlike views, tactlessly 
decided that " since the Agreement altered nothing in 
the Treaty of 1905, the Amir should not be consulted, 
but be merely advised of its terms after signature ". 

1 This Agreement forms Appendix E. 
2 India^ Morley and Minto, by Mary, Countess of Minto, 1934. 


The Viceroy informs the Amir. Upon the conclusion 
of the Agreement, Minto, in his letter of September 
10, informed the Amir that Articles I and II of the Con- 
vention reaffirm in the clearest manner respect for the 
sovereign rights of His Majesty, and the policy of non- 
interference in the internal affairs of the country; that 
the Russian Government recognize for the first time in a 
formal document that Afghanistan lies outside the sphere 
of Russian influence and engage that all their political 
relations with Afghanistan shall be conducted through 
the intermediary of the British Government; that, by 
Article III, Great Britain concedes to Russia her per- 
mission for Russian and Afghan frontier officials, specially 
appointed, to settle purely local questions; and that, by 
Article IV, the principle of equal treatment for British 
and Russian commerce in Afghanistan is laid down. 

The Reply of the Amir. In his reply Habibulla 
forwarded the views of a Council of State which con- 
sidered that the Convention destroyed the independence 
of Afghanistan and possessed no advantage. It also, in 
their opinion, gave the right to both Powers to construct 
railways in Afghanistan. The real trouble was, of course, 
mainly due to Morley's lack of tact in ignoring the Amir. 
As Minto pointed out, the Amir himself was favourable 
to the Convention but was not strong enough to override 
the anti-British party headed by Sirdar Nasrulla Khan. 

Russia decides that the Adhesion of Afghanistan was not 
necessary to the Validity of the Treaty. In the autumn of 
1908, Isvolski most fortunately declared that whether 
the Amir gave his formal adhesion or not, the Russian 
Government would treat the Convention as a valid in- 
strument. The Amir persisted in his refusal to sign the 
Convention, which lessened the friendship engendered by 
his visit to India. It certainly stands to his credit that, 
in spite of German and Turkish overtures, he remained 
loyal to his engagements during the World War. 

Persia and the Anglo-Russian Agreement. So far as 
Persia, whose ruler was not consulted by the two great 
neighbouring Powers, was concerned, the chief obstacle 
to a friendly agreement between Great Britain and Russia 


was the strategical importance of Seistan. As mentioned 
in Chapter XXXVI, I had founded the British Consulate 
in that fertile province in 1899 and in the following year 
a Russian Consulate was also founded. From the start 
there was bitter rivalry, more especially on the Russian 
side, and upon the arrival of Sir Henry McMahon in 
1903, to arbitrate between Persia and Afghanistan on 
the new situation created by the change in the course of 
the River Helmand, as described in a former chapter, the 
Russian representative displayed open antagonism to the 
British arbitrator, whose efforts to ensure a peaceful settle- 
ment were, however, ultimately successful. Partly owing 
to these strenuous intrigues of the Russian Consul against 
the British arbitrator, the military party in Russia con- 
sidered that the surrender of Seistan, when the creation 
of the two spheres of commercial influence were discussed, 
demanded an important equivalent concession by the 

In the Convention, as finally agreed upon, Great 
Britain and Russia bound themselves mutually to respect 
the integrity and independence of Persia. The two 
Powers then divided up the country into zones of com- 
mercial influence with a large neutral zone which sepa- 
rated the two areas in the south-west. The area assigned 
to the Northern Power contained the capital and practic- 
ally all the great cities of Persia together with the largest, 
most fertile and best-watered areas in the country, while 
its boundaries marched with Russia on both sides of the 
Caspian Sea. 

Great Britain, on the other hand, was content with 
a relatively small sphere which consisted mainly of 
semi-desert areas, and contained only one city of import- 
ance in Kerman, the capital of the province of that name. 
The boundary, however, as drawn, did prevent Russia 
Jfrom marching with the western frontier of Afghanistan ; 
it included Seistan and also the port of Bandar Abbas, 
thereby preventing the creation by Russia of a harbour 
giving access to the open waters of the Arabian Sea. 

To turn to the neutral zone, which included the very 
rich Karun Valley and the fertile province of Pars, with 


the historical city of Shiraz: the Government of India 
urged the great importance of placing the head of the 
Persian Gulf and the lower Karun Valley within the 
British sphere, realizing that Germany might well peg out 
claims in it, as indeed she attempted to do. The whole 
question was, however, hurried through, without giving 
time for proper discussion, owing to the fact that there 
were strong pro-German forces, headed by some of the 
Russian Grand dukes, which were working to wreck 
the Convention. The enormous developments in oil in 
this area have alone proved the validity of the Govern- 
ment of India's contention and, as in the case of the 
Baghdad Railway, and of the status of Kuwait, the results 
of the Great War were distinctly beneficial to Great 

We now come to the point of view of Persia. No 
nation, least of all one with such a glorious past as she 
could claim, likes to be slighted, and Persia felt bitterly 
on this point. Of even greater practical importance to 
her statesmen was the fact that the basis of their policy, 
which was the rivalry between Great Britain and Russia, 
had now disappeared. They considered and rightly 
so in the case of Russia that the creation of spheres of 
influence was but a stage on the road to annexation. As 
a result, Great Britain, who had long been considered to 
be the trusted friend and protector of Persia, owing to 
her agreement with Russia, was now held to be her 
enemy. To conclude this section, I will quote from a 
Persian poem addressed to Sir Edward Grey: 

Not Persia only feels the Russian squeeze, 

'Tis felt by Afghans and by Kashgaris! 

" Russia her pact will keep ", you answer me : 

Her records read, and wondrous things you'll see! 

Not I, but human nature, tells you plain 

That pacts weigh naught compared with present gain; 

The more since Russia longs for India still, 

As longs the hawk for partridge o'er the hill; 

Else why did she o'er Persian lands let loose 

Her Cossack hordes to crown her long abuse? 

British Relations with Tibet. In the nineteenth 
century our relations with Tibet were unsatisfactory, 


mainly owing to the zenophobe character of both its 
rulers and its population. In 1885 Colman Macaulay, 
Secretary to the Government of Bengal, secured Chinese 
assent to lead a British Mission to Lhasa. He had, how- 
ever, failed to secure the consent of the Tibetan Govern- 
ment, and the mission, after being stopped on the 
frontier, was subsequently withdrawn. Somewhat natur- 
ally, considering that the retirement of the mission con- 
stituted a proof of weakness, a Tibetan force invaded 
Sikkim^ and constructed a fort some eighteen miles 
inside the boundaries of that state. This position was 
attacked by the British in 1888 and the Tibetans, who 
suffered many casualties, were driven out of Sikkim. 

In 1890 a Chinese representative met Sir Mortimer 
Durand on the Sikkim-Tibet frontier to discuss various 
questions. No progress with these negotiations was 
effected until the impracticable Chinese official was shown 
the great pit in which the Tibetans, who had been killed 
in the attack on their fort in 1888, had been buried. 
This action rendered the Celestial envoy more reason- 
able and, as a result, Great Britain and China ultimately 
signed a Convention, by the terms of which Sikkim was 
recognized to be a British protectorate, while a Boundary 
Commission was decided upon. Further negotiations 
led to a Trade Treaty in 1893, but the Tibetans con- 
structed a fortified wall, which ran across the valley close 
to the trade-mart at Yatung, in order to prevent traders 
from penetrating into their country. 

Such was the position in 1899 when Lord Curzon, 
realizing the futility of attempting to deal with the 
Chinese Amban at Lhasa, attempted to negotiate direct 
with the Dalai Lama. His letters, despatched through 
various agents in 1899, 1900 and 1901, were, however, 
returned without having been opened. The Dalai Lama, 
alarmed by British attempts to penetrate his sacred home- 
land, now decided to turn to Russia. His adviser and 
agent was Dorjieff, a Mongol Buriat by birth and a 
Russian subject, who had formerly been his tutor. The 
Dalai Lama accordingly despatched this envoy to Russia 
in 1901, where he was received by the Tsar. His 


mission was hailed with delight by the Russian press, 
which declared that the Dalai Lama had turned to 
Russia as being " the only Power able to frustrate the 
intrigues of Great Britain ". Among the gifts brought 
back to Lhasa by Dorjieff was a magnificent set of 
Russian episcopal robes for the Dalai Lama; there was 
also a consignment of Russian arms and ammunition. 

The position for the British, at this juncture, had 
become serious. Not only had the Dalai Lama rebuffed 
the advances of the Viceroy, but he had sent a mission to 
Russia, their rival in Asia, while there were rumours of 
the conclusion of a secret agreement between Russia 
and China, which later proved to have been unfounded. 
However, the result of this mission was to upset the 
borderland states of Nepal, Sikkim and Bhutan. 

Immediate action was imperative and, in 1903, 
Curzon instructed Colonel (later Sir Francis) Young- 
husband to march into Tibet with an armed escort. The 
Viceroy's proposal was that he should proceed to Lhasa, 
but the Cabinet, still involved in the South African War, 1 
would only permit him in the first instance to march to 
Kampa Dzong, situated a few miles across the frontier. 
Owing to Tibetan obstructiveness there was a delay of 
five months at this place before instructions were received 
to march up the Chumbi Valley. This advance was 
resisted by the badly armed Tibetans, who suffered heavy 
losses, and the British column, which had been reinforced, 
finally entered Lhasa. 

The Dalai Lama and his staff fled to Urgai in Outer 
Mongolia, but the Tibetan authorities, impressed by 
Younghusband's friendly attitude, and influenced by the 
Amban, by the representative of Nepal and by the ruler 
of Bhutan, were prepared to negotiate. Under these 
favourable conditions, in September 1904, a Convention 
was signed, which included the recognition of the Anglo-* 
Chinese Convention of 1890 while the sites of trade- 
marts were fixed. An indemnity of 75,000,000 rupees 
was agreed upon, while the Chumbi Valley was to be 
temporarily occupied as security. The British Cabinet 

1 Vide Records and Reactions, by the Earl of Midleton, p. 199. 


reduced the indemnity to one-third, to be paid in three 
annual instalments. The Chinese Government carried 
out these payments and the Chumbi Valley was evacuated 
in 1908. The Cabinet also, remembering the fate of 
Cavagnari at Kabul, vetoed the establishment of a British 
Agent at Lhasa. 

The Younghusband mission excited unfavourable 
comment in Russia, but Lansdowne replied to the Russian 
Ambassador that, for a Power which had encroached in 
Manchuria, Turkistan and elsewhere, the protest was 
" beyonci measure strange ", and that the sole object of 
British action was to obtain satisfaction for Tibetan 

The Chinese Government, awakened by British 
activity in Tibet, decided to restore their authority in that 
country and, in 1906, a Convention was concluded 
between Great Britain and China, by which the latter 
Power assumed responsibility for the preservation of the 
integrity of Tibet. 1 

Such then was the position of affairs when the section 
of the Convention concerning Tibet was negotiated with 
Russia. It contained five short articles, which after 
acknowledging the " special interest of Great Britain in 
the maintenance of the status quo in the external relations 
of Tibet ", bound both Powers not to interfere with its 
internal affairs; it also bound both Powers to deal with 
Tibet, through the intermediary of China, except as 
regards matters arising out of the Lhasa Convention; 
and finally bound them not to seek for concessions for 
roads, mines, etc. 

Summary. Looking back, it is clear that the task of 
Sir Arthur Nicolson was most difficult. 2 There was the 
soreness due to the Anglo-Japanese Alliance and the sus- 
picions instilled into the Emperor's mind by the intrigues 
?f the Kaiser and the pro-German party. 3 Moreover the 
question was dealt with at St. Petersburg by an inter- 

1 Gooch and Temperley, op. cit. vol. iv, pp. 323-326. 

* The Life of Lord Carnock, by the Hon. Harold Nicolson, p. 254. 

3 In September 1907 Isvolski stated to Sir E. Goschen that it had required all his 
patience to withstand the constant " hammering " to which he had been subjected from 
Berlin, where the idea of the Convention had been most distasteful. 



departmental Committee instead of by the Foreign 
Minister. So far as Afghanistan was concerned it trans- 
pired during the negotiations that Russia was genuinely 
afraid that we might use Afghanistan as a spearhead for 
aggressive action in Central Asia. Evidently her defeat 
by Japan had upset her balance. However, Nicolson, 
perhaps our ablest diplomatist, finally carried through the 
negotiations to a successful issue. A proof of the import- 
ance of this Convention may be found in the Kaiser's 
minute on the despatch which informed him of its 
conclusion. It ran: " Yes, when taken all round, it is 
aimed at us ". In this view the Kaiser was right, since 
the Anglo-Russian Convention, in spite of the sinister 
activities of Russian officials in Persia, who aimed at 
annexing their sphere of commercial influence, cleared 
the way for Russia to fight on the side of Great Britain 
in 1914. 

Russo-Afghan Relations up to the Great War. It is 
interesting to note the situation on the Russo-Afghan 
frontier during the years that followed the signature of 
the Anglo-Russian Convention. Among the questions 
raised by the Russian authorities were the depredations 
of locusts, who had no respect for frontiers. In dealing 
with this pest, they pressed for co-operation between the 
Russian and Afghan frontier officers. The Amir, how- 
ever, replied to a letter on this subject from the Govern- 
ment of India that he had not heard of any special 
depredations by locusts, but that, if such depredations 
were reported, each country should attack the pest in its 
own way. 

Another subject of complaint was the treatment of 
Russian trade by the Afghan Government, but it was 
pointed out by the British that, according to the Russian 
press, it was prospering and increasing. Moreover, it 
was added, there was no information tending to shov 
that the Amir accorded it less favourable treatment than 
that given to Indian commerce. 

The question of crimes on the Russo-Afghan frontier 
was also raised but, in this case, there was no difficulty in 
demonstrating that their number was insignificant on 


the northern frontier in comparison with those on the 
Indo-Afghan frontier, while there was every reason to 
believe that the Amir was doing his best to bring the 
perpetrators to justice and to prevent the commission of 
such outrages. 

The difficult question of irrigation in the case of 
rivers which flowed from Afghanistan into Russian 
territory was also brought forward. The answer given 
was that the Amir had reported a diminution in the 
precipitation of snow and rain in the Hazarajat and that 
no new* irrigation channels had been dug. Actually, in 
1905, both the Hari Rud and the Murghab Valley were 
carefully examined by a British officer, who noted a 
decrease of irrigation and cultivation in these Afghan 
areas. Moreover, it was explained that the custom in 
Afghanistan gives to owners on the upper reaches of a 
river a prior claim to the use of its water, and the fact 
that on the Russo-Afghan frontier there was a special 
arrangement for the Kushk and Kashan Rivers proved the 
existence of this custom in the case of Afghan rivers in 
general. 1 

During the years 1908-1909 some friction was 
caused by the flight from Afghanistan of thousands of 
the Jamshidi tribesmen. Some of these immigrants were 
interned at Samarkand, but others were permitted to 
remain near the Afghan frontier. Much correspondence 
ensued and the notable raiders were moved further 
inland. To conclude this section: upon the whole the 
situation might be described as not unsatisfactory. 

'North-West Frontier Troubles. It was unreasonable 
to expect that the friendly relations established between the 
British and the Amir would bring peace to the North- 
West Frontier, more especially as Nasrulla Khan remained 
openly hostile to the British. Moreover, it must be 
remembered that the turbulent, well-armed but poverty- 
stricken tribesmen to some extent depended for their 
livelihood on raiding the fertile plains. Consequently 

1 In North-east Persia the Russians took advantage of the weakness of that country 
to destroy the peasants' crops and thereby reduce the area cultivated. I heard instances 
of these acts of injustice when travelling in that area just before the last Great War. 


these raids continued to cause anxiety, more especially 
as numbers of modern rifles imported via Bandar Abbas 
were now in the hands of the tribesmen, 1 To give an 
example: in the summer of 1907 the Zakka Khel 
Afridis visited Kabul, where Nasrulla Khan " not only 
increased their allowances, but also afforded them 
facilities for purchasing large numbers of rifles which 
had become available from the Persian Gulf source of 
supply ". 2 

In the autumn of 1907 Minto, who, it must be 
remembered, was a professional soldier and had served 
in the Second Afghan War, reported to Morley that the 
position was becoming intolerable, what with raids on a 
large scale by Wazirs, and by gangs who were especially 
sent out to murder the Political Agent at Wana, three 
of whose predecessors had been murdered in fourteen 
months. Morley's reply was unsympathetic. 

Needless to say, the Zakka Khel raiders grew bolder 
and actually raided Peshawar city early in 1908 and thus 
forced the British Government to agree to a punitive 
expedition. Its sudden despatch surprised the Zakka 
Khels, who were rapidly brought to their knees after suffer- 
ing heavy losses. It speaks volumes for the influence of 
Colonel (later Sir George) Roos-Keppel that although 
the Khyber Rifles contained a large number of Zakka 
Khel tribesmen they insisted on accompanying him to 
fight their relations and destroy their property. Again, 
when Roos-Keppel went out alone to meet the Zakka 
Khel peace deputation the first question the Chief asked 
was: " Sahib, did we put up a good fight?*' It is 
impossible not to admire the martial qualities of these 
fierce mountaineers. 

Minto corresponds with the Amir. There was every 
reason to believe that Sirdar Nasrulla Khan was foment- 
ing the trouble which again broke out, the offenders or? 
this occasion being the Mohmands. Minto wrote to the 
Amir in April 1908 recognizing his difficulties and 

1 I had reported the existence of this traffic in 1897 but no immediate steps were 
taken to cope with it. 

2 Quoted from The Problem of the North-West Frontier , by Captain C. Da vies, Ph.D., 
p. 145. I would acknowledge my indebtedness to this valuable work. 


urging him to restrain his tribesmen, to which the latter 
replied that he had ordered his frontier officials to prevent 
his subjects from helping the Mohmands. There is 
reason to think that the Amir was doing his best, but no 
Afghan could resist the excitement of a fight with its 
chances of securing plunder. Finally, in May, the 
turbulent Mohmands, who were largely supported by 
Afghan levies, were attacked and duly punished, thanks 
in part to the new quick-firing 1 8-pounder gun. 

An ^Anglo-Afghan Commission. The best frontier 
officers deplored these expeditions, which inflicted heavy 
loss to life and property and left behind an enduring 
legacy of hate. They realized that the only method was 
to construct roads and hold strategical centres from which 
the tribes could be dominated and civilized. 

In 1910 an Anglo-Afghan Commission met to settle 
cases on the Tochi-Khost border. The Afghan repre- 
sentatives refused to take up cases against outlawed 
subjects of the Indian Government, who were being 
settled in Afghan territory some fifty miles distant from 
the frontier, which enabled them to continue their raids. 
In spite of this failure to deal with the chief cause of 
unrest, various agreements and reconciliations between 
frontier tribesmen were effected and, in numerous cases, 
money compensation was arranged to be paid. Perhaps 
the most important result was that the British and Afghans 
worked in perfect harmony. 



I will so long as the sublime God-granted Government of Afghanistan 
remains in security and peace, hereafter continue to abide the same way as I 
have hitherto been abiding by my friendly treaty and engagements with the 
illustrious British Government, and will not, please God, as far as lies in my 
power, give preference to the false ideas of ignorant and short-sighted persons, 
over the interests and welfare of the affairs of my State. Letter of the AMIR to 
the Viceroy, dated March 23, 1915. 

At the peace settlement, the most important of the national claims of 
Germany will be that for a German India. DOCTOR HANS DELBRtJCK, 1915, 
in The Heritage of Bismarck. 

The Amir's Declaration of Neutrality. Upon the out- 
break of the World War the Amir announced the 
neutrality of Afghanistan in a durbar held at Kabul on 
August 24, 1914. Again, at another durbar held on 
October 3, he reaffirmed the policy of neutrality and con- 
tradicted wild rumours as to his hostile feelings towards 
Russia. 1 

The Entry of Turkey into the War^ October 1914. 
The Ottoman Government, under German instigation, 
was induced to take naval action against Russia in the 
Black Sea, which resulted in Russia and Great Britain 
declaring war on the great Moslem state. Upon the 
Viceroy informing Habibulla Khan, he replied: " I am 
sorry that the Ottoman Government has also commenced 
war with the exalted British Government ". For the 
Amir, the position immediately became one of the 
greatest difficulty, in view of the existence of a strong 
pro-Turkish party, headed by Nasrulla Khan, which was 
supported by the mullas and other fanatical elements, 

The Letter of the King-Emperor. In September 1915 
the King-Emperor wrote an autograph letter to the Amir. 

1 The late Sir Michael O'Dwyer read this chapter and made helpful suggestions. 



In it His Majesty expressed his gratification at the 
scrupulous and honourable manner in which the Amir had 
maintained the attitude of strict neutrality as guaranteed 
by him at the beginning of the war. It pointed out that 
this attitude was not only in accordance with the Amir's 
engagements but that, by it, he was serving the best 
interest of Afghanistan and of Islam. 

The Sarhang of Dakka, who had been instructed to 
receive the letter, appeared at Landi Khana with an 
escort of Khassadars who wore new uniforms for the 
occasiofi and carried a large standard. The guard of 
honour, furnished by the Khyber Rifles, consisted of a 
British officer, two companies of infantry and 100 
mounted infantry, and, after the exchange of courtesies, 
the ceremony of handing over the letter of the King- 
Emperor took place. 

The reply of the Amir, which was written on January 
6, 1916, ran as follows : " I am grateful that your Majesty 
is convinced of the neutrality of the God-granted Govern- 
ment of Afghanistan, for which Your Majesty has ex- 
pressed your gratification and pleasure to me. In future 
also, provided that no injury or loss occurs to Afghanistan, 
the sublime, God-granted Government of Afghanistan 
will remain neutral and will always view with satisfaction 
and honour the friendship of Your Majesty's Govern- 

The Amir's Statement to the British Agent at Kabul. 
In January 1916 the Amir stated to the British Agent 
that he would keep his pledges loyally, that he was upset 
at what was happening in Persia; that he did not care 
for Germany, Austria or any other Power, but that he 
was anxious about Turkey, " who was foolishly taking 
part in the war and who possesses a great religious 
attraction on the common mind of the ignorant Moslems 
of the world in general and on the rude Afghans in 
particular ". In this statement the Amir evidently spoke 
with the fullest sincerity. The appearance of German 
Missions in Persia, who drove out the British and 
Russian colonies from Central and Southern Persia, upset 
Habibulla Khan, who was naturally affected by the 


position in Persia, but the influence of Turkey on the 
minds of his subjects was a matter of supreme importance 
to him. 

On the occasion of a durbar being held at Kabul on 
January 24, 1916, large crowds assembled outside the 
palace in the expectation that Jihad would be proclaimed. 
Actually the Amir deplored the existing chaos in Persia 
and, dwelling on the impossibility of forecasting the 
ultimate outcome of the war, he impressed upon his 
hearers the absolute necessity for unity and co-operation. 

The Dawn of German Influence in the Middle *East. 
Before dealing with the German Mission to the Amir, 
which created a crisis of the first magnitude in Afghanistan 
and was a source of the gravest anxiety in India, I propose 
to outline the thoroughness with which Germany worked 
to gain influence in Turkey, Iraq and Persia, alike by 
political and commercial action. 1 

The Visit of the German Emperor to Constantinople, 1889, 
The first visit of the Kaiser to Constantinople initiated 
the grandiose Pan-German scheme, known in Germany 
as the Berlin-Byzantium-Baghdad (B.B.B.), while the 
Kaiser spoke of " a Germanic wedge reaching from 
Hamburg to the Persian Gulf ". The Deutsche Bank had 
already gained control of the railways of European 
Turkey, while, as far back as 1883, Major (later Field- 
Marshal) von der Goltz had begun to reorganize the 
Turkish army and to bring it under German influence. 

The Baghdad Railway. The most important part of 
the scheme was the construction of a trunk railway across 
Asia Minor to Baghdad with its terminus at a port in the 
Persian Gulf. It would be guarded by Turkish troops 
under German officers and was intended to constitute a 
serious challenge to British paramountcy in those torrid 
waters. In 1903 the concession was signed and Turkey 
guaranteed interest on the cost of construction of the liner 
at a most generous rate. 

Attempts to secure a Port at Kuwait. In 1900 the 

1 I have consulted the excellent article in the Revue du monde Musulman, " Les 
Allemands en Perse", by Georges Ducrocq, vol. Hv, 1923. Vide also Sykes, History of 
Persia (3rd ed.), vol. ii, pp. 431-456 and 541-545; and Unter der Glutsonne Irans, by 
Oskar Niedermayer. 


German Mission, that was making a preliminary inspec- 
tion of the alignment of the railway, reached Kuwait. Its 
leader explained to Shaykh Mubarik, its ruler, the im- 
mense wealth that he would acquire if the terminus of the 
railway were to be placed in his territory and offered to 
lease an area of twenty square miles for this purpose. 
Mubarik, however, in 1899, had signed a secret Agree- 
ment with Great Britain by the terms of which he had 
engaged not to sell or lease land without her consent. 
The German proposal was consequently refused. 

Germany declined to accept this rebuff as final and 
induced the Turkish Government to despatch a naval 
expedition to seize Kuwait, but the presence of a British 
cruiser defeated this- scheme. Yet a third attempt was 
made. Behind Bubian Island, which bounds the bay of 
Kuwait to the north, are two deep inlets which run north 
to within some twenty miles of Basra. On one of these, 
Khor Abdulla, it was decided to build the terminus of 
the railway. Although the territory belonged to Kuwait, 
Turkish troops were posted on it and, in spite of all 
remonstrances, were kept there. However, in 1914 an 
Agreement with Germany was being negotiated by 
which there would have been two British members on 
the board of the Baghdad Railway, whose terminus would 
have been constructed at Basra, while Kuwait was to have 
been constituted an autonomous enclave. The outbreak 
of the Great War most fortunately put an end to these 

German Activities in the Persian Gulf. The campaign 
was opened in 1896, when the firm of Wonckhaus 
established itself at Lingah and began to deal in mother- 
of-pearl. In the following year I met Dr. Henck, who 
was founding the German Vice-Consulate at Bushire. 
Among his successors was Wassmuss, whose efforts at 
gaining concessions, and in other directions, were in- 
variably foiled by our able Resident, Major (later Sir 
Percy) Cox. In 1901 the headquarters of the Wonckhaus 
firm were transferred to Bahrein, and the Sultan, whose 
claims in the Persian Gulf were most shadowy, was 
asked to grant Germany a monopoly of the valuable pearl 


fisheries. He was proceeding to do this when the 
British Government intervened and vetoed the scheme. 

The next attempt was more serious. The Shaykh of 
Shargah, a Trucial Chief, who was bound by treaty not 
to enter into an agreement with any other power than 
Great Britain, granted a concession to work the red oxide 
deposits on the island of Abu Musa to three Arabs, 
Wonckhaus acquired the concession, which was there- 
upon cancelled by the Shaykh^ who expelled the original 
concessionaries. This action raised a storm of protest 
in the Berlin press, but the German case was inde- 
fensible and was not followed up. 

In 1906 the Hamburg-Amerika Line started a 
regular monthly service to the Persian Gulf, which 
speedily competed with the British. In 1907 not only 
were pilgrims booked free to Jeddah, but cargo was 
accepted at half the rates charged by the British. The 
line was evidently heavily subsidized by Germany. 

The Potsdam Agreement , 1911 . To turn to Persia : in 
1910, at the famous Potsdam meeting between the 
German and Russian Emperors, Sazonoff agreed to 
support the Baghdad railway, while Germany in return 
pledged herself to support Russian interests in Persia. 1 
The British objected to Sazonoff giving unlimited support 
to the Baghdad railway, to which the Russian Foreign 
Minister replied that this support was only intended to 
extend from Konia to Baghdad. He was consequently 
requested to correct his draft by the inclusion of the 
words "jusqu'a Baghdad", but declined to do so. 
Needless to say, Germany took full advantage of this 

To continue this subject: Germany had decided to 
construct a branch line from the Konia-Baghdad railway 
at Sadija to the Persian frontier at Khanikin, while Russia 
intended to secure a concession from the Persian Govern- 
ment for the construction of a line from Tehran to 
Khanikin. In August 1911 the Potsdam Agreement was 
signed. Russia thereupon agreed not to oppose the con- 

1 For this section I have consulted vol. x of Origins of the War, by G. P. Gooch and 
H. Temperley. 


struction of the Baghdad railway. She also agreed to 
obtain a concession for a line from Tehran to Khanikin 
to meet the German line from Sadija to Khanikin as soon 
as this branch line was constructed. Russia, moreover, 
agreed that if, two years after the completion of this latter 
line by Germany, she had not commenced the construction 
of the Tehran-Khanikin line, the German Government 
was at liberty to apply for the right to construct it. In the 
event nothing more was heard of these railway schemes, 
but Russia's policy, which certainly weakened the Entente 
created by the Anglo-Russian Convention, strengthened 
the influence of Germany in the Middle East. 

Germany gains Influence in Persia. A definite success 
of Germany in Persia was the foundation at the capital of 
a college staffed by German teachers, to which the 
Persian Government contributed an annual subsidy. 
The Deutsche Bank also opened an office at Tehran with 
branches at Tabriz and Bushire. Of greater importance 
was the fact that the German Legation had such close 
relations with the Persian " democrats " 1 that, upon the 
crushing of the Majlis by the Shah in 1908, many of 
them settled at Berlin and during the Great War were 
the chief organizers of the German Mission to Persia and 

In addition to the " democrats ", through Turkish 
influence in Iraq, several Mujtahids, or " Doctors of the 
Sacred Law ", were won over to Germany by the state- 
ment that the entire nation had been converted to Islam 
and that the Kaiser had made the pilgrimage to Mecca 
and was known as Haji Wilhelm! Moreover, owing to 
the Anglo-Russian Convention, the British, and even 
more so the Russians, were unpopular. Finally, the 
Swedish officers of the Persian Gendarmerie were 
bought by Germany. 2 

During the pre-war period German Agents were 
busy in Persia. Among them Captain Oskar Nieder- 
mayer, an artillery officer and a trained geologist, 

1 " Revolutionaries " would be a more correct name to apply to the party. 

2 To quote from Zugmayer's diary: " The gendarmerie is always entirely with us 
and is paid by Germany ". 


travelled widely in North-east Persia and was my guest 
at Meshed during the summer of 1913. Zugmayer, a 
German scientist, travelling at the same period, pene- 
trated to British Baluchistan. In 1916 he was the leader 
of the Germans whom I captured at Shiraz. 1 

To conclude this section: does it not constitute a 
striking example of German Weltyolitikt Looking back 
on that period of. tension I recall a Persian proverb : 
' History is the mirror of the past and the lesson of the 
present '. May we learn the lesson! 

The Turko-German Mission to Afghanistan. The 
originator of this scheme was Enver Pasha. It consisted 
in a proclamation of Jihad at Constantinople and at other 
Moslem centres. A Mission of Germans and Turks 
preaching the " Holy War " was to cross Persia to 
Afghanistan, furnished with credentials from the Caliph, 
and it was hoped that the appeal of the head of the Moslem 
religion, strengthened by promises of armed support and 
of money, would induce the Amir to lead his fanatical 
subjects to invade India in overwhelming numbers. 

Upon the outbreak of the War, Indian seditionists, 
whose headquarters were in distant areas, such as Har Dyal 
from California and Barkutulla from Japan, assembled at 
Berlin, where they were organized into an Indian Political 
Department under the German Foreign and War Offices. 
This department was strengthened by the adherence of 
some leading Persians and of some Europeans, the 
subjects of neutral states. 

German Agents in Persia. In addition to the Mission 
to the Amir and supporting it, the plan included the 
despatch of Agents furnished with arms and gold who, 
aided by the Swedish officers of the Persian gendarmerie, 
would drive out the British and Russian subjects and 
seize the treasuries of the Imperial Bank of Persia and of 
the Russian Banque d'Escompte. These Missions would, 
moreover, be strengthened by German officers who would 
enlist and train Persians into a force capable of joining 
in the invasion of India. It was the scheme of Napoleon * 
revived under considerably more favourable conditions. 

1 Sykes, op. cit. vol. ii, p. 475. 2 Vide Chapter XXV, p. 377. 


The Mission of Wassmuss. Wassmuss was instructed 
to return to the area behind Bushire, where he was suc- 
cessful in organizing attacks which necessitated the 
garrisoning of that port by British troops. He also 
organized a combination of tribes who invested my force 
at Shiraz in 1918. He was the only German Agent who 
was in any way successful. 1 

The Position at Tehran in 1915. To resume: the 
German propaganda proclaiming the conversion of their 
monarch and nation to Islam was supported not only by 
various * religious leaders, but by powerful gangs of 
robbers, who were especially valuable as messengers. 
Moreover, the escape of some hundreds of German and 
Austrian prisoners from Tashkent turned the enemy 
Legations at Tehran into armed camps. However, in 
November 1915, the advance of Russian troops in 
Northern Persia caused the enemy Ministers to flee 
from Tehran, after a fruitless attempt to persuade the 
weakling Shah to join them. This failure at the capital 
reacted on the general situation in Persia, but the German 
Missions had succeeded in driving the British and 
Russian subjects out of Central and Southern Persia by 
the end of 1915. 

The Formation of the South Persia Rifles. In the spring 
of 1916 I landed at Bandar Abbas with instructions to 
raise a force for the Persian Government, which was 
termed the South Persia Rifles. 2 Before long I received 
numerous petitions from the religious and land-owning 
classes, followed by deputations begging me to expel the 
German Missions from Kerman, where their followers 
had created insecurity for life and property. In May I 
marched to Kerman, where my small force of Indian 
troops was welcomed as deliverers. The German Missions 
fled in small parties, and were captured to the number of 
V)me sixty German and Austrian officers. These, together 
with a dozen Turkish soldiers and a few Afghan deserters 
from the British army, were handed over to me upon my 

1 In ffassmuss, by Christopher Sykes, an interesting account of the inception of the 
German Mission is given together with a full account of the activities of " the so-called 
German Lawrence ". 2 Sykes, op. ctt. vol. ii, p. 452 et seq. 


arrival at Shiraz in November 1916. In this manner no 
German supporting Missions were left in Southern Persia. 
As a result the Amir was encouraged to remain loyal, 
and German prestige was diminished. 

The Failure of von der Goltz, 1916. The plan of 
forming a Persian army was a complete failure. Field- 
Marshal von der Goltz, who was in supreme command 
of the German and Turkish troops in Iraq and Persia, 
proceeded to Kermanshah, where a staff of German 
officers was attempting to organize the recruits who had 
been enlisted. The Persians disliked his Turkish escort 
and they still more disliked their German instructors, 
von der Goltz's summary of the position in February 1916 
runs: " Anarchy in Persia; nothing to be done; dust, 
cupidity and cowardice ; vast expenditure and no return ".* 
A few days after this report was written, the Russians, 
encouraged by their splendid feat of arms at Erzerum, 
swept the Germans out of Persia. 

Differences between the Germans and the Turks. It is 
noteworthy that the Turks did not see eye to eye with 
the overbearing Germans. They feared, and with reason, 
that, in case of victory, Germany would treat Turkey as 
a conquered country. The Germans, as we have seen, 
aimed at the invasion of India by winning over Persia 
and Afghanistan to their side, whereas the Turks under 
Kazim Bey tried to combine Jihad with Panturanian 
propaganda which included the union of the Turkish 
tribes of Central Asia under the banner of the Sultan. 
Actually, the alliance between the two Governments was 
in no way popular so far as the Turks were concerned. 

The Turko-German Mission to Afghanistan^ 1916. 
The Turko-German Mission to Afghanistan was especially 
disliked by the Turks. Kazim Bey, who accompanied it 
with a staff of officers imbued with the idea of the union 
of Islam, worked on those lines and only on those lines 
His incorporation in the Niedermayer Mission was 
apparently purely nominal. It remains to add that the 
German Mission was strengthened to some extent by the 

1 Vide Generalfeldmarschatt Colmar Freiherr von der Goltx : Denkwiirdigkeiten, Berlin, 


addition of prisoners of war who had escaped into Persia 
from Russian Turkistan. 

Captain Oskar Niedermayer, the leader of the German 
Mission to the Amir, experienced considerable trouble 
with the Turkish authorities at Baghdad, who wished to 
utilize the services of the Mission against the British in 
Iraq. They even tried to prevent it from penetrating 
into Persia. In spite of these difficulties, Niedermayer 
crossed the border early in 1915, when he was warmly 
welcomed by the Swedish officers of the Persian gen- 

His party, to which was attached the Turkish Mission 
under Kazim Beg, included twelve Germans, the Indians 
Mahendra Pratap and Barkatulla, and some Persian 
gendarmerie, was about eighty strong. He travelled across 
Western Persia to Nain to the north-west of Yezd, and 
then entered the Lut desert and passed through Tabas 
and Duhuk. 

Upon approaching the Afghan frontier he divided 
up his party into three sections with a view to himself 
escaping the British and Russian troops that were patroll- 
ing the southern and northern sections of the Perso- 
Afghan boundary respectively. He despatched one 
party, consisting mainly of sick camels, to the north, a 
second, composed of camels laden with stones, to the 
south, to attract the patrols, while he himself moved 
rapidly due east with lightly laden mules to Yezdan, 
the last village on the Persian side of the frontier. 
Successfully avoiding the patrols, he crossed the Afghan 
frontier and arrived at Herat on August 24, 1915. An 
independent party, which had reached Kain ahead of 
Niedermayer under Wagner, was driven off by Russian 
Cossacks with the loss of their baggage and money. 

The Reception at Herat. At this city the Mission was 
provided with supplies, but was placed under guard 
in a garden outside the city and no intercourse with 
the inhabitants was permitted. During its stay at Herat, 
tactless criticisms of the Afghan troops and of the Kabul- 
made rifles by the Germans created an unfavourable 


The Arrival at Kabul Leaving Herat on September 7 
the Germans reached Kabul some twenty days later and 
were placed under guard in the Bagh-i-Baber, outside the 

The Attitude of the Amir. The Amir immediately 
reported the arrival of the mission at Herat to the 
Viceroy. He stated that he had instructed the Governor 
to forward it to Kabul, where he would certainly 
ascertain its intentions. He ended his letter with assur- 
ances that its arrival would have no detrimental effect 
whatever on the neutrality of Afghanistan. 

The Turko-German Mission at Kabul. The Amir kept 
the German emissaries, who were not allowed to leave 
the garden for some weeks, waiting for an audience until 
towards the end of October. In a letter addressed to the 
German Minister at Tehran, which was intercepted, 
Niedermayer wrote in November 1915: " We were at 
last received by the Amir in a friendly manner on 
October 26. The Amir's explanations did not give us 
much hope. Please send as soon as possible the Turks 
for my expedition. " 

Another letter from Roehr (a member of the mission) 
ran: " I believe it is quite possible to draw Afghanistan 
into the war if about one thousand Turks with machine 
guns and my expedition arrive here. Perhaps we shall 
find it necessary to begin by organising a coup d'ttat. It 
is absolutely necessary that gendarmerie should accompany 
my expedition from Isfahan to the frontier as the roads are 
held by the enemy." Needless to say, copies of these 
letters were sent to the Amir and, no doubt, opened his 
eyes as to the intentions of his German guests. In the 
summer of 1916 the mission was strengthened by the 
arrival of the supporting party under von Hentig. 

The Dilemma of the Amir. The position of the Amir in 
1915 was most difficult. The declaration of Jihad by 
the Sultan, who was also the Caliph, naturally excited the 
Mullas and the fanatical Afghans, although they were 
fortunately aware that a fatwa of Jihad published in 
Turkey was not binding in Afghanistan, unless it were 
also proclaimed by its own ruler. Apart from this, the 


basis of Afghan policy had been that her two powerful 
neighbours, Great Britain and Russia, were generally 
hostile to one another. The chief value of Afghanistan 
to Great Britain was the fact that it served as a buffer 
state, and though bound to Great Britain by treaties and 
obligations, the Amirs could yet, to some extent, play off 
one powerful neighbour against another. Great Britain 
and Russia thus entirely occupied the stage, whereas 
Turkey and Germany, although known in a somewhat 
vague way, had never had any direct contact with 
Afghanistan and were far distant countries. 

When the World War broke out, Afghanistan was 
faced with the somewhat alarming fact that Great Britain 
and Russia were allies. The credit side of this new 
position of affairs was that the Amir was thereby able to 
point out to his Councillors who pressed him to declare 
'Jihad that it would obviously involve the ruin of 

The Amir's Diplomacy. The Amir, in view of the 
strong pressure exercised on him by the pro-Turkish 
party, headed by Nasrulla Khan and favoured by Inaya- 
tulla Khan, played a very difficult hand with consummate 
skill. He delayed matters by convening an assembly of 
leading Mullas and Chiefs, to whom he expressed his 
firm determination to maintain neutrality for the reasons 
given above, and followed this up by engaging in in- 
terminable consultations with his advisers. In, January 
1916 he signed a draft treaty of alliance with Germany 
in which he demanded the assistance of a strong force 
and insisted on receiving fantastic sums of gold. To 
quote Niedermayer: " One day the Amir says he is for 
us and the next against us ". Twice Niedermayer had 
decided to leave, but the Amir detained him by giving 
positive assurances, and again backed out of them. 
Niedermayer also stated that the Amir was unwilling to 
let the mission leave in case circumstances should change 
and Afghanistan should declare war. In this case, as he 
realized, German officers would be necessary to him. 
Finally Niedermayer, bitterly disappointed with the 
Indian seditionists, who invariably failed him when any 



action was required, realized that without the arrival in 
Afghanistan of a powerful Turkish force, there was no 
hope of winning over the astute Amir. The scheme 
for a coup d'etat was considered, but was found to be 

The Dismissal of the Turko-German Mission. There is 
little doubt that the capture of Erzerum by the Russians 
in March 1916 proved the impossibility of a Turkish 
division reaching Afghanistan, while the fall of Kut-al- 
Amara does not appear to have greatly perturbed ^Afghan 
opinion. The mission had definitely outstayed its 
welcome when, in May 1916, it was dismissed by the 
Amir in the presence of Sirdars Nasrulla Khan and 
Inayatulla Khan. Leaving Kabul on May 22, its members 
scattered, and, owing to the capture of most of the sup- 
porting German parties by my force and the vigilance of 
the frontier patrols, some of them were taken prisoners. 
Niedermayer, although wounded by brigands, finally 
reached Hamadan. His mission was a complete failure, 
but his courage and initiative, under most difficult con- 
ditions, were remarkable. 

The Amir's Statement to the British Agent. On Septem- 
ber 6, 1916, the Amir stated to the British agent that he 
had entirely disapproved of the aims of the German 
mission and that it had left disappointed. He added 
that, to his annoyance, Mahendra Pratap, Kazim Beg 
and Barkatulla had stayed on and that since they were 
his guests, he had not seen his way to expel them. He 
solemnly declared on his oath that nothing had shaken, 
or could shake, his firm determination to keep his 
covenant of neutrality. Owing to his loyalty, the crisis 
was thus satisfactorily dealt with. 

The Silk Letters Conspiracy. The ramifications of a 
wide-spreading conspiracy in which Mahendra Pratap 
and Barkatulla played important parts and which ia 
generally known as the Silk Letters Conspiracy constitute 
an interesting episode at this period. 

The proclamation of Jihad by the Sultan in his 
position as Caliph at Constantinople was soon known in 
India and eagerly seized upon by the revolutionary 


element. 1 The leading Moslem Theological College is 
that of Deoband, which is attended by students not only 
from India but also from the tribal territory and from 
Afghanistan/ The head of the college was Maulana 
Mahmud-al-Hasan, who was a widely respected religious 
leader. Strenuous efforts were made to secure his 
support and Maulvi Abdul Rahim of Lahore (the Obay- 
dulla of the conspiracy) convinced him that India was 
Dar-al-Harb or a " Country of Disturbance " where 
Moslem religious rites could not be freely carried out 
and that consequently Jihad was obligatory. It is usual 
for Moslems at Friday prayers to pray for the ruler. 
Since the British Government was not a Moslem Power, 
the custom had arisen in India of praying for the Sultan 
of Turkey as Amir-al-Muminim or " Commander of the 
Faithful " and it was expected that on this account 
Mahmud-al-Hasan would proclaim Jihad. Contrary to 
expectation, however, the Maulana held that the teaching 
of the Koran forbade revolution or sedition and that the 
only course for Indian Moslems was hijrat or " migra- 
tion " from India. He therefore sailed with a number of 
his followers bound for Mecca, where he intended to 
join in the Jihad. At Mecca, the Turkish Governor, 
Ghalib Bey, gave a cold welcome to the party. He 
attempted, but in vain, to induce the Maulana to return 
home and stir up revolt locally. Many of his followers, 
however, gradually drifted back to India. Among them 
was Saif-ar-Rahman who, under the adopted name of 
Muhammad Mian, returned to his home in the Peshawar 
district bearing a letter from Ghalib Bey, known as the 
Ghalibnama, which incited the tribesmen to invade the 
Punjab. Visiting Abdul Wahid, known as the Haji of 
Turangzai, at the instigation of Muhammad Mian, this 
holy firebrand was successful in stirring up the Mohmands 
to make their first attack on British territory, as mentioned 
later in this chapter. 

The Mujahidin or " Warriors of the Holy Wars ". In 

1 This conspiracy is ably dealt with in the late Sir Michael O'Dwyer's India a 
I Knew //, chs. xii and xiii. I would also thank Mr. J. H. Adam for valuable in- 
formation on the subject. 


1820 a certain Sayyid Ahmad Shah of Bareilly, who had 
adopted the especially fanatical tenets of the Wahabis, 
founded a colony of Mujahidin ; for a short period they 
ruled the Peshawar district, but were driven out by the 
Pathans. Later, they established themselves in tribal 
territory where they subsisted on subscriptions secretly 
collected in India and joined, to some small extent, in 
raids on British territory. Generally speaking, however, 
they were only anxious to live at ease on their income. 

Indian Students abscond to Afghanistan. Obaydulla, 
who had not followed the " migration " to r Mecca, 
influenced some fifteen Indian students, whose oath on 
the Koran he secured, to " migrate " to Afghanistan, 
where they would preach Jihad and the invasion of 
India. Changing their names by way of precaution, they 
crossed the frontier and were welcomed at Asman by the 
Mujahidin. Disappointed by the lack of enthusiasm dis- 
played by these tame " Warriors of the Holy War ", the 
students crossed into Afghanistan and reached Jalalabad, 
where they were placed under arrest. The authorities 
then forwarded them to Kabul where, for some time, they 
remained under guard. Realizing that they were not 
welcome, they asked for permission to proceed to Turkey, 
which was refused. They declined to return to India 
when invited to do so and their position was distinctly 
unpleasant until, thanks to the representations of Nasrulla 
Khan, they were set at liberty and were granted a very 
small daily allowance of money. 

The Activities of the Conspirators. The flight of the 
students was followed by inquiries which resulted in 
Obaydulla hastily crossing the frontier. At the same time 
Maulvi Fazal Ilahi with some of his fanatical followers 
fled to the Mujahidin^ whom they goaded into displaying 
genuine activity. Fazal Ilahi insisted on forming a branch 
colony at Chamarkand in Bajaur, situated close to the, 
Afghan boundary. Punjabi seditionists incited the Buner- 
wals and the Hindustani fanatics, referred to above, to 
invade British territory. Later they were partly re- 
sponsible for the raid of the Mohmands into the Peshawar 


Mauhi Obaydulla organizes the Plot. The student- 
conspirators met Inayatulla Khan who expressed deep 
sympathy with them, but their activities remained some- 
what aimless until Maulvi Obaydulla, who arrived at 
Kabul in August 1915, induced them to co-operate for 
a common purpose. The plot was designed to unite all 
the states of Islam, the Turks, the Arabs, the Afghans, 
the Uzbegs, the Frontier tribes and the Moslems of 
India in a combined effort to overthrow the British Raj. 
The Mujahidin were to raise the fanatical tribesmen and 
be supported by a general rising of the Moslems of India. 
It was hoped that the revolutionary Hindus and Sikhs 
would join the Moslems and that their united forces 
would sweep the British into the Indian Ocean. 

The plot was woven with some skill and emissaries 
were despatched to Mecca, to Turkey, to Russia, to Japan, 
to China, and elsewhere, to announce the creation of a 
Provisional Government of India and of an Army of 
Allah, with the aged Mahmud-al-Hasan as its Com- 
mander-in-Chief. The President was to be Mahendra 
Pratap, the Prime Minister Mulla Barkatulla of Bhopal, 
while Obaydulla, the moving spirit, was to be Foreign 
Minister. If the Amir agreed to join in the plot, he 
would be acknowledged as King of India. It would 
appear that the Amir was cognizant of the aims of the 
conspirators, while Nasrulla Khan was heart and soul 
with them. Indeed, had a Turkish force reached 
Afghanistan, he would most probably have killed the 
Amir and, after the proclamation of Jihad, would have 
led his fanatical subjects to the invasion of India. 

The Silk Letters. In July 1916, Obaydulla gave 
Abdul Hak, the leader of the Indian students, three yellow 
silk handkerchiefs on which letters were written. His 
orders were to hand them over to a Shaykh at Hyderabad 
(Sind), who was instructed to convey them in person or by 
a reliable messenger to their leader, Maulana Mahmud-al- 
Hasan, at Medina. 

In due course Abdul Hak, who evidently felt some 
misgivings, reached the house of a fine old Moslem officer, 
a Khan Bahadur at Multan, whose two sons, much to his 


grief, had absconded to Kabul with Abdul Hak, of whom 
he was, to some degree, in charge. Upon the Khan 
Bahadur asking why he had returned without his young 
masters, the reply given by Abdul Hak was so unsatis- 
factory that he was soundly beaten and thereupon gave 
up the letters. The Khan Bahadur handed them to the 
local authorities, who considered them to be unintelligible, 
but sent them to O'Dwyer ; the latter realized their great 
importance and forwarded them to Simla. 

The letters described the situation at Kabul and in 
India, referred to the arrival of the Turko-Derman 
mission and its departure, and gave the plan for the 
formation of the " Army of Allah ". The headquarters 
were to be at Medina with the Maulana as Commander-in- 
Chief, while Obaydulla was to be the General Officer 
Commanding at Kabul. The absconding students were 
also given high military rank. To conclude this section : 
these letters, which were handed over to the Criminal 
Intelligence Department, revealed a plot with wide 
ramifications, and by their seizure, it was nipped in the 
bud. It was, however, no closely organized, dangerous 
conspiracy, but rather ineffectual plans, which depended 
entirely on the invasion of India by the Afghans. As it 
happened, the revolt of the Sharif of Mecca against the 
Turks, in June 1916, divided Islam and wrecked all 
hopes of combined Moslem action against Great Britain. 
Sharif (afterwards King) Husayn also handed over 
Mahmud Hasan and other Indian conspirators to the 
British authorities. 

The Letters from the German Emperor to the Princes of 
India. It remains to add that, in 1916, I seized at 
Kerman a number of letters beautifully inscribed on 
vellum, signed by Bethmann Hollweg and addressed to 
the reigning Princes of India. Copies of these letters 
reached Kabul with the Mission and on them the 
seditionist leaders wrote endorsements. They were duly 
despatched to Bajaur for transmission to India, but were 
seized by the vigilant Indian authorities. 

The North- West Frontier during the Great War. By 
way of conclusion to this chapter, it seems to be desirable 


to make a brief reference to some disturbances on the 
North- West Frontier which, considering the efforts made 
by enemy agents, were of less importance than might 
have been expected. 

The tribes kept quiet until Turkey joined the enemy, 
when, excited by the letter written by Ghalib Bey, and by 
the preaching of the Haji of Turangzai in April 1915, 
the Mohmands raided the Peshawar district in force, but 
were speedily driven out. At the same time, the Khost- 
walis raided the Tochi Pass and were only dispersed 
after serious fighting. 

Later in this year, the Swatis attacked a British force 
at Chakdara, while the Bunerwals, joined by the Hindu- 
stani fanatics, attempted to invade British territory. Once 
again, in spite of the Amir's express prohibition, the 
Mohmands, in September, raided the Peshawar district 
and, on this occasion, they burned the Shenkargarh 

The economic blockade of the offending tribe and 
military operations forced it to sue for peace and to agree 
to pay a fine. But a new lashkar of 6000 men was again 
collected, which was dispersed by the terrifying action of 
the first aeroplane, termed Malik-ul-Maut or " Angel of 
Death " by the tribesmen, and in August 1917 peace was 
finally re-established. 

The Mahsuds. A still more serious outbreak took 
place in Waziristan, but here again the appearance of a 
large force supported by aeroplanes, forced the warlike 
Mahsuds to sue for peace in August 1917. Thus, after 
two and a half years, quiet was finally restored to the 
North- West Frontier. It is noteworthy that the powerful 
Afridi tribe remained loyal, thanks mainly to the personal 
influence of Sir George Keppel, that great Warden of the 

Throughout this very critical period, the Amir took 
a strong stand against the dangerous hostility of Nasrulla 
Khan, who was supported by the mullas. Moreover, he 
wrote to the Viceroy and advised him not to allow Frontier 
troubles to become magnified or to punish the recalcitrant 
tribesmen too severely. 



O Nation with a sense of honour! O brave army! While my great nation 
was putting the crown of the Kingdom on my head, I declared to you with a 
loud voice that the Kingdom of Afghanistan should be internally and externally 
independent and free, that is to say, that all rights of Government, that are 
possessed by other independent Powers of the world, should be possessed in 
their entirety by Afghanistan. The Proclamation of AMIR AMANULLA KHAN. 

The Rise of Nationalism in Afghanistan. The keynote 
of recent history in Central Asia and indeed more or less 
everywhere in Asia may be found in nationalism. The 
so-called " unchanging East " realized the power and 
wealth of the West and its impact gradually caused it to 
awaken. Indeed, the victory of Japan over mighty Russia 
in 1904, proving that the West was not invincible, came 
to the East as a revelation. In neighbouring Persia it 
bore fruit in a revolution which resulted in the abdication 
of Muhammad Ali Shah, in 1909, but, in conservative 
Afghanistan with a large primitive population occupying 
the remote valleys of its gigantic ranges, the movement 
was slow. 

Sirdar Muhammad Tarzi. The nationalist movement 
in Afghanistan was initiated by Sirdar Muhammad 
Tarzi, a member of the Kandahar branch of the Muham- 
madzai. Exiled by Abdur Rahman Khan, he had lived 
at Damascus where he married a Turkish wife. Upont 
the accession of Habibulla Khan, he returned to Afghan- 
istan and became the undisputed leader of the advanced 
party, advocating external independence and internal 
reform. His influence was great as the father-in-law of 
Inayatulla and of Amanulla and also as the editor of the 



Siraj-ul-Akhbar, in which journal he made constant attacks 
on Great Britain. Apart from this, the collapse of the 
Russian Empire seemed to offer the races of Central Asia 
the prospect of recovering their liberty. 

The Amir's Demand for Representation at the Peace 
Congress. In the spring of 1916 the Amir put forward 
a demand that he should send a representative to the 
Peace Conference. There was no doubt that this demand 
represented the views of what might be described as those 
of the party, which was headed by Sirdars Nasrulla Khan 
and Inayatulla Khan. 

During the years of the Great War, Afghanistan, as 
we have seen, had been visited by a Turko-German 
mission, accompanied by capable Indian seditionists. 
Moreover, in 1918, with the complete defeat of Turkey 
by a Christian Power and the occupation by the victors 
of some of the Holy Places of Islam, fanaticism was 
aroused together with the bitter feeling that Afghanistan 
had failed Islam in her hour of need. 

Owing to the Amir's inestimable services in main- 
taining the neutrality of Afghanistan, in the face of hourly 
danger to himself, its independence should surely have 
been promptly acknowledged after the Armistice. Had 
this boon been granted, is it not possible that the pro- 
clamation of independence by Habibulla would have 
restored his lost popularity? Might it not also have saved 
both countries the Third Afghan Wart 

On February 2, 1919 more than two months 
after the Armistice Habibulla, who clearly realized 
the tense situation in Afghanistan, again wrote to the 
Viceroy demanding recognition by the Peace Conference 
of the " absolute liberty, freedom of action, and perpetual 
independence " of his kingdom. Before an answer, 
explaining that the Peace Conference was strictly con- 
fined to belligerents but that the interests of Afghan- 
istan would be carefully guarded, reached the Amir, he 
was dead. 

The Assassination of King Habibulla Khan. The Amir, 
who remained devoted to sport and especially snipe- 
shooting, went to Laghman for this purpose accompanied 


by an escort under the command of Ahmad Shah Khan 
of the Musahiban family. 1 

In the morning of February 20, 1919, it was dis- 
covered that an unknown assassin had entered his tent 
and had shot him through the ear. As was natural, 
suspicions were aroused but since the descendants of 
the mullas of this district whom he had executed for a 
plot would be naturally anxious for vengeance, it may 
be that one of the number was the assassin. 

His Character. In a previous chapter King Habibulla 
is described as a patriotic ruler, keen on benefiting 
Afghanistan. He established a Council of State for 
tribal affairs and introduced Western medical and surgical 
methods. He also abolished the slave trade and founded 
a college conducted on European lines, but suitable to 
Afghan needs. If, in later years, he spent too much time 
and money on his pleasures, it is best to remember him 
as the Amir, who in face of almost overwhelming pressure 
and, at the constant risk of his life, remained true to his 
pledge of neutrality, and saved Afghanistan from the 
horrors of war. 

The Accession of Sirdar Nasrulla Khan. The position 
on the day of the assassination was that Nasrulla Khan, 
the Ulya Hazrat (mother of Amanulla Khan, the third 
son). Nadir Khan, the Commander-in-Chief and other 
members of the powerful Musahiban family were either 
at Jalalabad itself or in the royal camp. 

Amanulla Khan was the Governor of Kabul, but 

1 The Musahiban family, which now occupies the throne of Afghanistan, is descended 
from the elder line of Sirdar Painda Khan, whose fourth son was Amir Dost Muhammad. 
At this period it consisted of two brothers, termed " Musahiban-i-Khas ", or " Personal 
Equerries ", Muhammad Asaf Khan and Muhammad Yusuf Khan, who had followed 
Yakub Khan to India with their families, who were educated at Dehra Dun. The 
younger brother married into the Sadozai family, and consequently his son, Muhammad 
Nadir Khan, who ascended the throne, united the two great Durrani sections. The 
brothers supported Habibulla Khan in his policy of neutrality during the War and were 
the chief opponents of Nasrulla Khan and his party. 

Ahmad Shah Khan, son of Muhammad Asaf Khan, was, as mentioned above, in 
command of the guard on the Amir's tent on the night he was murdered and, on this 
account, the soldiers arrested the members of the family. There was no reason whatever 
to suppose that he was guilty of the crime. 

Muhammad Yusuf Khan had four or more sons who were well educated at Dehra 
Dun, among them Sulayman Khan, Nadir Khan, who became King, Hashim Khan, who 
is now Prime Minister and Shah Wali Khan. Their sister, known as the " Hindustani 
Queen ", was a wife of King Habibulla, but only bore him a daughter. 


Inayatulla Khan, the eldest son of the late Amir, had left 
Jalalabad to take over charge of that important post by 
his father's orders. On the death of the Amir being known 
he was, however, recalled to Jalalabad. 

The succession to the throne lay between Nasrulla 
Khan, representing the Conservative party, who was 
strongly supported by the mullas and tribes, and one of 
the sons of the late Amir. Inayatulla, the eldest, aged 
twenty-one, had no following and, at a Council composed 
of Inayatulla and the leading officials at Jalalabad, 
Nasrulla Khan was acclaimed Amir. On February 21, 
at a public durbar, Inayatulla, other members of the 
royal family, and the leading officials confirmed Nasrulla 
Khan's election as Amir. The Viceroy was informed and 
Nasrulla's accession was reported to be popular with the 
mullas and tribes. 

The Accession of Amanulla Khan. Meanwhile Ama- 
nulla, the third son, aged twenty-nine, who held the 
capital, the treasury, the army headquarters and the arsenal 
decided to bid for power. While Nasrulla remained 
inactive at Jalalabad mourning his brother, instead of 
riding to Kabul as advised, Amanulla outbid his uncle 
by offering the army 20 rupees a month pay as against 
1 1 rupees. He also vehemently denounced the failure of 
Nasrulla Khan to investigate and punish the assassin of 
his father. This energetic action in which the influence 
of his mother the Ulya Hazrat, the chief wife and a 
member of the Barakzai family, was most valuable, 
was decisive; the army at Kabul accepted him as Amir, 
while the troops at Jalalabad not only acclaimed Amanulla 
as Amir, but arrested the members of the Musahiban 
family. Nasrulla, thereupon, threw up the sponge and 
on February 27, wrote to Amanulla tendering his sub- 
mission. He was sent to Kabul as a prisoner. It is 
significant that in Amanulla's proclamation, part of which 
serves as a motto to this chapter, the " nation " and the 
" army " are formally addressed, but not the mullas. 

The accession of Amanulla was accepted throughout 
Afghanistan without any serious disturbances taking 
place. The Governors of all the provinces were replaced 


by his partisans, mainly members of the Musahiban 
family, with the sole exception of Kandahar, where the 
Loinab Khushdil Khan was a half-brother of the Ulya 

Amanulla Khan informs the Viceroy of his Accession. 
On March 3, Amanulla informed the Viceroy of his 
accession in a letter which contained the following 
passages : 

Nor let this remain unknown to that friend that our independent 
and free Government of Afghanistan considers itself ready, and pre- 
pared, at every time and season, to conclude such agreements and 
treaties with the mighty Government of England as may be useful 
and serviceable, in the way of commercial advantages to our 
Government and yours. 

To this the Viceroy cautiously replied: 

From this it seems possible that the commercial requirements 
of Afghanistan are thought to call for some agreement with the 
British Government, subsidiary to the treaties and engagements 
above mentioned. 

Nasrulla Khan sentenced as responsible for the Murder. 
At a public durbar held on April 13, Nasrulla Khan 
was declared to be guilty of instigating the murder of the 
late Amir and was sentenced to imprisonment for life. 
Colonel Shah AH Riza was declared to have been the 
actual assassin and was bayoneted at the conclusion of 
the durbar. 

Nasrulla Khan died shortly afterwards, although his 
death was not announced until some months later; and 
Inayatulla, as a possible rival, was kept in prison for a 
considerable period. The members of the Musahiban 
family were honourably acquitted and restored to favour. 

The Result. The action of Amanulla in condemning 
his uncle, the champion of the mullaSj and in reinstating 
the members of the Musahiban family, alienated alike the 
mullas and the army. Discontent spread rapidly, and, 
on April 25, the khutba was not read in the Amir's name 
at Kandahar. 

Amanulla declares Jihad. Realizing the storm that 
he had raised, Amanulla decided to unite the nation by a 


proclamation of Jihad. The date of the durbar, at which 
Amanulla's actions landed him in almost inextricable 
difficulties, coincided with the tragedy of the Jhalianwala 
Bagh at Amritsar (where General Dyer had taken stern 
action against rebels '), and there is every reason to believe 
that accounts of the serious position in the Punjab 
encouraged him to take his hazardous resolve. To give 
typical instances from correspondence that was seized : 

The English are distracted in mind on account of the European 
War, an4 have not the strength to attack the Afghans. The people 
of India too are much dissatisfied with the English on account of 
their tyranny and oppression. They will never hesitate to raise a 
revolt, if they can find an opportunity, as their hearts are bleeding 
at their hanas. 

The Amir's endorsement ran : 

Seen. You will try your best to keep us informed of affairs of 
this sort. 

And again : 

The Provisional Government has entered into a compact with 
the invading forces. Hence you should not destroy your real 
interest by fighting against them, but kill the English in every 
possible way. 

This manifesto, found at Thai, was signed by Obaydulla, 
Wazir of the Provisional Government of India, who is 
referred to in the previous chapter. In addition to these 
main reasons, there is evidence that Amanulla Khan was, 
to some extent, influenced by Russian advice. 

Thus the die was cast, and Amanulla, throwing to 
the winds the friendship with the British Government on 
which his grandfather and his father had firmly based 
their policy, forced an entirely unjustifiable war on the 
British, a war which was known as the " Third Afghan 

War ". 

1 For the necessity of such action vide India as I Knew 7>, by Sir Michael O'Dwyer, 
p. 283 et seq. 



my pious, brave nation! O my faithful lion-hearted army! Nobility 
fame, honour, courage and valour are among your attributes. Patriotism, 
piety and virtue are your natural characteristics. 

1 proclaim to all of you, the truthful subjects of my royal person, that the 
treacherous and deceitful English Government has been, since a long time, 
practising with diabolical treachery and fraud, many shameful oppressions 

I call upon my pious and brave royal army to strive and do their best, 
and upon all my faithful subjects to wage Jihad in the path of God with their 
life and property. AMANULLA KHAN'S Proclamation of Jihad. 

Cardboard brown hills flat against the skyline! Hills that had shape without 
bulk, and where the rock faces showed, the cardboard was stained and darkened. 
The first thing I noticed about the Khy ber was its lack of detail. . . . Anything 
that moved on the mountains was without individuality. No wonder aero- 
planes are of little use against the invisibility with which the hills protect their 
own. At five hundred feet, it would be difficult for an observer to pick out as 
many tribesmen ambushed on an apparently barren summit. ROSITA FORBES. 

The Policy of the Amir. In the First and Second 
Afghan Wars, British armies invaded Afghanistan, 
captured Kabul and held various other important centres. 
On this occasion the Afghans invaded India, but merely 
penetrated a few miles into British territory from which 
they were speedily ejected with heavy losses. 

Amanulla's policy was to raise the warlike and fanatical 
tribes on both sides of the frontier by the declaration of 
Jihad and by the assembling of troops at various points on 
the Indian frontier who, while avoiding engagements 
with the British, would foment rebellion on the North- 
West Frontier and in the Punjab. Acting on this plan, 
he despatched a force under Saleh Muhammad, who 
had replaced Nadir Khan as Commander-in-Chief, to 
Dakka, a second, under Nadir Khan, to Khost, and a 
third, under Abdul Kuddus, to Kandahar. 



Internal Disturbances in India. In the spring of 1919 
serious internal disturbances caused the authorities grave 
anxiety. 1 So much so was this the case that it was 
necessary to detain large bodies of troops awaiting 
demobilization or embarkation to England, to guard 
important centres and the vital lines of communication. 
These disturbances had, without doubt, encouraged the 
Amir to pursue his hostile policy. 

The Military Position in India. The most important 
factor, in May 1919, was the large number of war-trained 
units still serving abroad. Moreover, to quote the official 
account: 2 " demobilization of British personnel had begun 
and large numbers of men had left for England without 
being replaced. The shortage of skilled artisans and 
mechanics in the technical branch was especially marked. 
The Indian units throughout were temporarily short of 
effectives . . . and a full complement of Indian officers 
and men had been permitted to proceed on furlough for 
the first time since August 1914." To conclude this 
brief survey: stocks of aeroplanes, railway plant, and 
military stores, which were only procurable from the 
United Kingdom, had run down and, owing to shortage of 
shipping, could not be speedily replaced. Animal trans- 
port, especially the supply of mules, had been completely 
exhausted and ponies, which are greatly inferior, were 
perforce employed, even in the Field Army. There was 
also a shortage of camels, partly owing to disease. On 
the other hand, many miles of roads suitable for 
mechanized transport had been constructed along the 
North- West Frontier, while the duplication of the road 
in the Khaibar, by which there was an upper motor 
traffic road and a lower one for slow-moving transport, 
constituted a noteworthy improvement. There were also 
sufficient supplies of food. 

To give some idea of the immensity of the problem, 
the strength of the British and Indian forces engaged 
north of the Indus aggregated 340,000 men and 185,000 

1 India as I Knew //, by Sir Michael O'Dwyer, ch. xvii. 

* I have consulted the Official Account of The Third Afghan War and would thank 
the Secretary of State for India for his permission to use some of the excellent sketch 
maps which it contains. 


animals. 1 Fortunately Sir Charles Munro was a most 
capable Commander-in-Chief. 

The Disposition of British Troops. In accordance with 
Lord Curzon's scheme of 1899, regular troops were 
mainly concentrated on the Indian side of the Admini- 
strative frontier, while the trans-border tracts were held 
by irregulars, with the exception of the garrisons of 
Chitral, of the Malakand and in the Tochi Valley. This 
system had worked well until 1919, although its risks 
and drawbacks were obvious. 

A striking force, consisting of two divisions and two 
cavalry brigades, was available for offensive action on the 
Khaibar front and half that force on the southern front. 
A defensive role was assigned to troops in the Central 
area and to the garrisons of Malakand and Chitral. A 
general reserve of one division, two mobile brigades and 
one brigade of cavalry was kept in readiness. These 
latter units were short of effectives and of transport. 
Generally speaking, the force suffered from the drawbacks 
detailed above, but it had the great advantage of being 
provided with aeroplanes, although these were few in 
number and of an inferior class. 

The Afghan Military Forces. In this work I have 
pointed out more than once that the real military strength 
of Afghanistan lies in its armed population rather than 
in its army, but the difficulties of supply strictly limit the 
numbers of armed tribesmen who can be kept in the 
field for any long period. Afghanistan, at this time, was 
divided into ten military districts, all of them, except in 
the case of Kabul, being in touch with its frontiers. Its 
effectives were nominally 38,000 infantry, 8000 cavalry 
and 4000 artillerymen. They were badly trained, with 
obsolete guns and rifles, although their courage and 
endurance were beyond dispute. 

As shown in the sketch map, number i, in the Kunar 
Valley there were 6 battalions of infantry and 8 pack 
guns available for operations against Chitral. At Ningra- 
har, available for operations against the Khaibar, there 

1 Vide The Life of General Sir Charles Carmichael Munro^ by General Sir George 

No. I 


3 Bns Inf \ 




i 8 burrs 



14 Bns Inf 

Bn Pioneers 
1/2 Regts.Cav. 
44 Guns 
4 Obsolete Guns 

KABUL (Reserve) 

11 Bns. Inf. 
5k Reg ts Cav 
6 ObsolebeG 



13 Bns inf 
3 Regts.Cav 
60 Guns 
62 Obsolete Guns 







AND AFGHAN ON THE 6th. May 1919 

Scale 1 inch ^48 miles 


12 Bns Inf 


26 Guns 

85 Obsolete Guns 

Bn:ish Troops 

Came! Tracts 
Afghan Troops 



Durand Line 
Undemarcated Frontier 
Admmistrattue Border 


were 14 battalions of infantry, i battalion of pioneers, i J 
regiments of cavalry and 44 guns. A still stronger force, 
concentrating in Khost under Nadir Khan, included 16 
battalions of infantry, 2 battalions of pioneers, 4 regiments 
of cavalry and 60 guns. Concentrating at Kandahar were 
13 battalions of infantry, 3 regiments of cavalry and 
60 guns. Finally, at Kabul, there was a general reserve 
of 1 1 battalions of infantry and 5^ regiments of cavalry 
with 40 guns. The only arsenal, which was scantily 
supplied with equipment and munitions, was situated 
close to Kabul. 

The First Act of War. On May 3 an escort of 
Khyber Rifles which was, as usual, escorting the caravan 
to the Afghan border, was turned back by Afghan pickets 
who had established themselves on the British side of the 
frontier. On -the following day large numbers of copies 
of the farman^ signed by the Amir and exhorting all 
Moslems to Jihad, were distributed through the Afghan 
post office at Peshawar, together with leaflets which 
announced that Germany had resumed military operations 
and that India had revolted. 

The Phases of Operations. In consequence of the 
Amir's action, orders were issued on May 5 for the 
mobilization of the field army. The operations fall under 
three distinct heads: 

Phase (i): Actions on the Khaibar front from May 
6 to 25. 

Phase (2): Invasion of the Central area by Nadir 
Khan and the siege of Thai from May 26 to June 2. 

Phase (3): From June 3 to August 8 cessation of 
hostilities by Afghan regulars, but considerable activity 
of border tribes under the instigation of Afghan leaders. 
Finally the capture of the Spin-Baldak Fort and operations 
by the Chitral force deserve mention. 
The Operations on the Khaibar Front. It would appear 
that Saleh Muhammad, the Afghan Commander-in-Chief, 
misunderstood or disobeyed the Amir's instructions by 
commencing hostilities before the hoped for risings in 
India and among the tribesmen had taken place. 1 Arriv- 

1 He was dismissed and not restored to favour. 


ing at Dakka towards the end of April, Afghan regulars 
crossed the frontier on May 3 and occupied Bagh and the 
heights above Landi Kotal I with a force which, by the 
evening of May 6, included three battalions of infantry 
and two guns. A second body of 350 infantry with two 
guns held two hills situated some five miles to the 
north of Landi Kotal, while Shinwaris and Mohmands 
from Afghan territory were gradually assembling and 
joining the Amir's regular forces in large numbers. 

The British Garrison at Landi Kotal. During this 
critical period the British garrison at Landi Kotal merely 
consisted of two companies of Indian infantry and 500 
men of the Khyber Rifles. Owing to the cry of Jihad 
and hostile propaganda among the tribes, the loyalty of the 
latter body could not be depended upon, and it was most 
fortunate that the Afghans allowed this golden oppor- 
tunity to slip. Had they overpowered this weak force, the 
neighbouring tribes would undoubtedly have risen. As it 
was, rather in accordance with their custom, they watched 
to see what would happen. The situation was saved by 
the arrival, on May 7, of British reinforcements in lorries, 
to be followed by the I st infantry brigade, which reached 
Landi Kotal on May 8. 

Brigadier-General G. F. Crocker attacks the Afghan 
Position. Crocker, expecting the speedy appearance of 
further reinforcements, decided to attack the Afghans on 
the morning of May 9. They held a well-defined ridge 
facing north-east, but parallel to their line of retreat. 
Realizing the possibility of tribesmen assailing his right 
flank from the north, he detached a large proportion of 
his small force to the Ashkhel ridge. In consequence, 
on attacking the Afghan invaders he was only able to 
recover the water-supply and to secure a position for a 
further advance when reinforcements reached the front. 

The Attempted Rising in Peshawar City. The decisive 
action was, however, delayed by an attempted rising in 
Peshawar city, which the Afghan Postmaster had 
organized in co-operation with the Indian Revolutionary 
Committee. Its purpose was to destroy the mobiliza- 

1 Vide Sketch Map of the Khaibar (No. 2) in Official Account. 


KafirKot . 

KhargaU Michni 


From ' The Official Account of the Thkd Afghan War ' by permission of The Government of India, Central Publication Branch, 


tion stores, to burn the railway station and the canton- 
ment. This threat was met by the sudden investment 
of Peshawar city, by the almost simultaneous closing of 
its gates and by the seizure of the Afghan Postmaster 
and the revolutionary leaders. 

The Capture of the Afghan Position at Eagh. On 
May 1 1 the Afghan position at Bagh was attacked in 
force. In spite of the great heat, which necessitated 
resting the troops at intervals, the Afghans were driven 
into flight with heavy losses, while the Royal Air Force 
completed the victory by bombing and machine-gunning 
groups of fugitives. On the following day the Royal Air 
Force bombed the Afghan camp at Dakka, whereupon the 
Amir's army hastily retired on Jalalabad, while their 
Mohmand allies, true to type, looted the camp. Dakka 
was subsequently occupied without opposition by the 

Afghan Attack on the Camp at Dakka. On May 16 
a reconnaissance in force passed through the Khurd 
Khaibar Pass and advanced to the Mohmand village of 
Girdiz, which was occupied. Large numbers of the 
enemy, with artillery, who had concentrated for an attack 
on Dakka, threatened this column, which retired hard 
pressed back to its camp. Indeed, a charge of the King's 
Dragoon Guards had to be made before the pursuers were 

The Capture of the Afghan Position at the Khurd 
Khaibar. The enemy had taken up a strong position in 
the hills from the Khurd Khaibar westwards, which made 
the British camp untenable. Relying on promises of 
reinforcements and a fresh supply of gun ammunition, 
Crocker attacked at dawn on May 17. Partly owing to 
the lack of ammunition, the attack was held up, but 
the opportune arrival of three lorryloads enabled the 
artillery to become active once again. An hour later, 
the appearance of British reinforcements under General 
Sir Andrew Skeen, on the right flank of the Afghans, 
changed the situation. The main attack had been 
timed to start at 2 P.M., but the Afghans, owing to the 
deadly fire of the British howitzers and the threat to 


their right flank, began to retire at i P.M. and dispersed 
so rapidly that, although they left five out of their seven 
Krupp guns behind, their losses were not as heavy as 
was hoped. 

The Afridis display Hostility. In spite of the British 
victory of May n, sections of the Afridis, seduced by 
Afghan money, raised the cry of Jihad. This movement, 
combined with the open enmity of an influential headman 
and an attack on a column, affected the loyalty of the 
Khyber Rifles, who began to desert with their arms and 
ammunition. The force was consequently disbanded, 
and the pass was strongly held by British regular 

The Bombing of Jalalabad and of Kabul. To resume 
the main narrative: the Royal Air Force, although 
greatly handicapped by the inferior quality of its machines, 
carried out concentrated bombing raids on Jalalabad, 
where large portions of the military quarter were burned; 
troops on parade were also bombed. During the panic 
which ensued the neighbouring tribesmen looted arms, 
ammunition and treasure. To quote from an Indian 
eye-witness: " A few aeroplanes came over Jalalabad 
and made a bombardment for hours, two bombs explod- 
ing near the room I occupied at only a few yards. This 
bombardment caused a bad confusion and disorder both 
in the civil and military quarters alike. . . . The Sipahi 
[soldier] wanted to excel his General in flight and the 
General his Sipahi." 

To continue: on May 24 Captain R. Halley of the 
Royal Air Force performed a notable feat in bombing the 
Amir's palace and the ammunition factory at Kabul. 
This demonstration that the capital was within reach of 
British aircraft produced a profound impression and an 
earnest desire for peace. Again we have the report of 
an Indian eye-witness : " At 6 A.M. an aeroplane made- 
appearance at Kabul for the first time. , . . Three guns 
fired from the hills and Ark, numerous rifle fires and a 
few foolish revolver fires were made by the public and 
military. There was a great humming sound in the town 
after the airship had disappeared, denoting public terror 

No. 12 

[ Peiuar Hotal 



Scale 1 inch 16 miles 

Miles 10 5 o 10 20 

30 Miles 

K H Si T 

From ' The Official Account of the Third Afghan War ' by permission of The Government of India, Central Publication Branch. 


and sensation followed by a death silence after a few 
minutes. To appease the public from the panic, a band 
was played and a regiment brought on the parade ground 
for a few minutes, quite at unusual times.'* 

The Amir's Request for an Armistice. Preparations 
for an advance on Jalalabad were being made during this 
period, but unofficial Afghan overtures culminated on 
May 31 in a formal request from the Amir for the 
conclusion of an Armistice. Instructions were conse- 
quently issued that, although preparations were to con- 
tinue, no further advance was to be made without fresh 
orders. Actually the position in the Central area called 
for strong reinforcements, which necessitated the transfer 
of a part of the mechanized transport of the Khaibar 

The Central Front. The force which held the Central 
Area was weak and lacked transport. Consequently it 
was not intended to assume the offensive. In the Upper 
Kurram Valley we were bound to defend the loyal Turis 
against their Afghan enemies, in spite of the disad- 
vantageous fact that the valley formed an extremely narrow 
salient, with Afghan territory flanking it throughout on 
the west and to a less extent to the north. The exposed 
position was Parachinar, 1 where, on May 7, a battalion of 
infantry, a squadron of cavalry and two sections of 
mountain guns had been sent to reinforce the Kurram 
militia. This weak force was later substantially 
strengthened by the 3rd Guides and a Motor Gun 

The Movements of Nadir Khan. Nadir Khan, whose 
movements were fortunately deliberate, reached Matun, 
the chief centre of Khost, on May 19. There he was in 
a position to march on Thai or on the Tochi, or, again, 
to sever our communications with Parachinar and establish 
contact with the Afridis, and it was impossible to know 
which objective he would select. On May 23 it was 
reported that he was marching on Spinwam, which was 
evacuated and was almost immediately occupied by the 
Afghans. Nadir Khan was now equidistant from Thai, 

1 Vide Sketch Map of Central Area (No. 12). 


Bannu or Idak on the Tochi. He finally decided to attack 
Thai and, using a route which had been reported as unfit 
for the passage of field guns, but which was passable for 
the elephants and mules which carried them, he appeared 
before Thai on May 26. 

The Evacuation of the Tochi Valley and of Wana. In 
view of the intense sensitiveness of the frontier tribes to 
any appeal from Kabul, it was considered that the Afghan 
advance would almost certainly result in a rising of the 
Mahsuds and Wazirs. Consequently, since the despatch 
of reinforcements was impossible, it was decided, on May 
21, to withdraw the loyal elements of the militia without 
delay. This was a serious decision, since evacuation 
certainly meant that the surrounding tribes would become 
hostile and join the enemy. Moreover, in view of the 
strength of the posts, which could beat off any attack by 
tribesmen unsupported by artillery, withdrawal at this 
juncture was to be deprecated. 

The Retreat of Major Russell. Under the leader- 
ship of Major Russell, the most difficult evacuation of 
the posts was successfully carried out by means of forced 
marches into the Zhob Valley. No halt was made until 
the post of Mogulkot, forty miles from Wana, was 
reached. In this post there were only rations for twenty- 
four hours and, after halting for a day, Major Russell, 
starting before dawn, made for Mir AH Khel. Mean- 
while large numbers of tribesmen who had assembled, 
attacked the retreating force, and it was only with the 
greatest difficulty that Russell was able to press on until 
met by the Zhob Militia from Mir Ali Khel. Finally 
Fort Sandeman was reached but, out of a total of eight 
British officers, four were killed and two were wounded. 
The losses by death and desertion were very heavy. Sir 
Charles Munro in his despatch of November i, 1919, 
wrote of this retirement: " The exploit stands out as one 
of the finest recorded in the history of the Indian frontier ". 

The Position in the Zhob Valley. This retirement, 
excited the tribesmen, and the Kakars, Mando Khels and 
Sherannis, who were enlisted in the Zhob Militia, 


During the difficult period that followed, the destruc- 
tion of a convoy and heavy casualties suffered by a 
column which marched out to rescue it, have to be 
recorded. It should be pointed out that these serious 
reverses were partly due to the officers and men, in some 
cases, being young and inexperienced in frontier warfare. 
However, reinforcements from Quetta relieved Fort 
Sandeman, which had been invested, and by the end of 
July the tribesmen had been punished and the disturb- 
ances caused by the repercussions of the Afghan War 
were ended. 

The Thai Position. To return to Nadir Khan: the 
fort at Thai, which was only built for defence against tribes- 
men armed with rifles, was the centre of the position, with 
an outer and an inner line of defence. It was garrisoned 
by four battalions of Indian troops, with two sections of 
mountain guns and two 3-inch trench howitzers. Its 
water-supply was obtained from a well situated 300 yards 
to the north-east of the fort. 

The Afghans shell Thai. The Afghan force consisted 
of 3000 infantry with two lo-centimetre (3-8 inch) 
Krupp field howitzers, seven 7 ^-centimetre Krupp pack 
guns and a large force of tribesmen. The fort suffered 
severely from the fire of the howitzers, which outranged 
the British artillery and only temporary relief was obtained 
by two aeroplanes of the Royal Air Force, which bombed 
the Afghan gun emplacements. On May 28 the 
howitzers set on fire the petrol dump, the bhoosa stacks 
and the rations, while the wireless station was hit and 
temporarily put out of action. That morning a force of 
Afghan regulars, which occupied Thai village, made a 
half-hearted attack in the direction of the fort, which 
was repulsed without difficulty. 

The Relief of Thai Brigadier-General R. H. F, 
Dyer led the relief force, which concentrated at Togh on 
May 30. It included four 1 5-pdrs. The force marched 
eighteen miles in intense heat and started off again before 
dawn on June i to cover the last nine miles to Thai. 

Dyer, in the first place, attacked some 4000 Khostwal 
and Wazir tribesmen who were holding a deep nala to 


the south of Thai. His sudden assault and the artillery 
fire scattered them and the position was taken. The 
15-pdr. guns then silenced the Afghan howitzers. 

The Defeat of Nadir Khan. On the following morn- 
ing, June 2, an attack was launched against the main 
Afghan position, on the slopes north-west of Thai. As it 
was developing, Dyer received a letter from Nadir Khan 
stating that he had received the instructions of the Amir 
to suspend hostilities. He asked for an acknowledgement 
to the communication. Dyer replied: " My guns will 
give an immediate reply, and a further reply will c be sent 
by the Divisional Commander, to whom the letter has 
been forwarded ". It soon became clear that the Afghans 
were retiring from the position, which was captured with- 
out loss. Armoured cars and aeroplanes pursued the 
defeated army, while the tired infantry was able to rest. 
The enemy camp was occupied on the following day and 
preparations were being made for exploiting the victory 
by a march on Matun, but the signing of the armistice on 
June 3 officially ended the war. Much credit for the 
relief of Thai is due to the indomitable Dyer and to his 

The Tactics of Nadir Khan. The advance of Nadir 
Khan on Thai, using a route considered to be impassable 
for field artillery, was an excellent move, but he failed com- 
pletely to take advantage of the initiative he had gained. 
The British force was weak and consisted mainly of young 
soldiers. No general attack, however, on the vulnerable 
position was attempted, Nadir Khan allowing his 
powerful force to remain spectators of his bombardment, 
although he was surely aware that he must strike quickly 
before the arrival of British reinforcements. Having, by 
his march on Thai, prevented a further British advance on 
Jalalabad, he was content with this success and saved his 
army from disaster by a timely and rapid retirement^ 
Before quitting this subject, I would mention that the 
Parachinar force throughout this critical period displayed 
striking initiative, which was rewarded by success. 

The Chitral Front. The Afghans had a considerable 
force in the Upper Kunar Valley. The armed forces of 


Chitral included 450 rifles of the i/n Rajputs, one 
section of a mountain battery and the Chitral Scouts, 
1000 strong, commanded by British officers, and the 
Mehtar's bodyguard. The Afghans invaded Chitral, but 
were driven out by the defending force, which crossed 
the frontier in pursuit and captured the village of Birkot. 
Other minor operations followed in which, generally 
speaking, the Chitral force more than held its own. 

The Southern Front. The situation on the southern 
front possessed the advantage that from the Gumal Pass 
southwards the frontier of the two states marched 
together and that, with the exception of a portion of the 
Zhob Valley, there were no tribes in unadministered 
territory to be considered. The boundary cantonment, 
as mentioned in Chapter XLVI, was New Chaman, 
distant some seventy miles from Kandahar, and five miles 
within Afghan territory was the Afghan fort of Spin 

At the outbreak of hostilities, the Afghan forces at 
Kandahar were estimated at 13 battalions, with 3 regi- 
ments of cavalry and 60 guns. There were also large 
forces of fighting tribesmen available. The Quetta- 
Zhob force consisted of 1 2 battalions of infantry, 4^ regi- 
ments of cavalry with 24 guns and 34 machine-guns. 
Reports were received of large gatherings of Afghan 
troops on the Zhob border, who were probably sent there 
to aid the neighbouring tribes in an attack on Fort 
Sandeman. Lieutenant-General Wapshare considered 
that it would be strategically unsound to divide his force 
by sending reinforcements to the Zhob Valley and that 
the capture of the Spin-Baldak fort would produce a 
considerable effect on the tribesmen. 

The Storming of the Spin-Baldak Fort. In pursuance 
of this plan, on May 29, 1919, cavalry surrounded the 
fort, followed by two infantry brigades. The artillery 
consisted of two batteries of 1 8-pdrs. in one case and of 
two 4- 5-inch and four 5-inch howitzers in the other. 
After a bombardment which breached the walls in several 
places, the fort was assaulted by the 1/22 Punjabis and 
the 4th Gurkha Rifles ; the Duke of Wellington's 


regiment gallantly captured the ridge and towers before 
the main defences had been scaled. The Afghans dis- 
played great bravery and were almost all killed or captured. 
The fall of the fort relieved the situation in Zhob, but 
the retirement of the remnants of the Wana garrison, 
referred to above, upset the neighbouring tribesmen 
and necessitated the despatch of a mobile column to that 

Summary. To conclude this brief outline of the 
Third Afghan War: in spite of the difficulties of the 
situation, which I have described, India placed 140,000 
troops on the North- West Frontier within a fortnight 
of the commencement of the war. Within eight days of 
the opening of hostilities, in spite of the extreme heat, the 
main Afghan Army had been defeated and scattered at a 
distance of forty-five miles from railhead. Moreover, the 
rapid advance of the British in force up the Khaibar 
discouraged the Afridis and Mohmands and averted a 
long and far more serious campaign. Coming so soon 
after the close of the titanic conflict of the World War, 
this relatively insignificant clash of arms with Afghanistan 
passed almost unnoticed in Great Britain, but yet, taking 
all the circumstances into account, it represented no 
mean achievement, and many British and Indian units 
added to their laurels. 



After the breakdown of the Russian Empire in 1917, the sole inducement 
for Afghanistan to remain within the British orbit was removed (at any rate 
for the time being) and events were to prove that the sudden cessation of the 
pressure from the north had made a greater impression on the Afghan mind 
than the victory of Great Britain. ARNOLD TOYNBEE, Survey of International 
Affairs, 1920-1923. 

Peace Negotiations the Amir's Letter. The Afghan 
forces in every area of hostilities having been defeated, as 
described in the last chapter, Amanulla perforce decided 
to make peace. On May 28 a letter was received from 
the Amir, who ascribed the outbreak of the war to a 
misunderstanding and stated that Saleh Muhammad's 
operations were of a purely defensive nature. The Amir 
further complained of the air bombardments of Kabul and 
Jalalabad as unjustifiable acts of aggression, but added 
that he was " nevertheless prepared to be magnanimous " 
and had issued orders for the cessation of hostilities. 

The Armistice Terms. The Viceroy in his reply 
refuted the Amir's version of the causes of the war and 
laid down the terms on which an armistice would be 
granted. It was decided that the treaty for the restora- 
tion of peace should be followed by a probationary period 
of six months, during which the Amir should show signs 
of friendship and that, upon the fulfilment of these con- 
ditions, a " Treaty of Friendship " would be concluded. 

The readiness of the Government of India to accept 
the Amir's offer was criticized in some quarters, but it 
was realized that an advance to Kabul would have prob- 
ably meant the disintegration of Afghanistan, possibly 
for some years, and the consequent weakening of the 



invaluable buffer state between India and Soviet Russia, 
which she represented. Add to this question of policy 
the fact that the military operations had already cost 
over 1 6,000,000. 

The Peace Treaty of Rawalpindi. The Amir replied, 
objecting to the terms of the Armistice and pretending 
to misunderstand their purport, but agreed to send his 
representatives to India to discuss them. 

The Afghan delegates, who possessed plenary powers, 
came to Rawalpindi with unduly inflated ideas.^ They 
expected that, even if they could not secure the old 
advantages of the subsidy with arrears, they would win 
something tangible which would permit them to return 
to Kabul with credit. They adopted at first a distinctly 
truculent and defiant attitude, refusing even to attend the 
first meeting unless they were permitted to retain their 
armed escort, alleging that their honour was involved in 
its retention. Their bluff was, however, called and they 
were informed that, unless they did attend as arranged, 
their train would take them back that night and hostilities 
would be resumed. Upon receiving this ultimatum, they 
became somewhat less unreasonable. 

The main objects of the delegates were to gain 
freedom from British control of foreign relations, the 
avoidance of any loss of territory, the surrender by the 
British of Waziristan and other tribal areas, and a new 

In view of these preposterous claims, it was decided 
to present the Peace Treaty to them as an ultimatum. 
After long discussions it appeared that the Afghan 
delegates were prepared to agree, if their independence 
and the freedom of their foreign relations could be 
secured. Finally, on August 8, the Treaty of Peace was 
duly signed and the chief British representative, Sir 
Hamilton Grant, wrote a letter which acknowledged that 
" Afghanistan was officially free and independent in its 
internal and external affairs ".' 

The Release of British Control of the Foreign Relations 
of Afghanistan. Grant was severely taken to task in some 

1 This treaty and the letter are given in Appendix F. 


quarters for this letter. But it was evidently impossible 
to continue the old arrangement without making far- 
reaching changes. The old order had served its purpose 
well in keeping Russia from annexing Afghanistan, but 
the Russian Empire had fallen to be succeeded by the 
chaos of Bolshevism which did not, at the time, appear 
likely to be permanent. Moreover, atheistical Bolshevism, 
although it is apparently now moving far away from the 
ideals of its early days, will never be permanently accept- 
able to religious Islam. Accordingly, taking the long 
view tliat it is in the interest of Afghanistan to be friendly 
with Great Britain, not only on account of trade relations, 
but also for securing help in case of invasion from the 
north, it would appear that the policy was justifiable and 
sound. At the same time, it was natural that the Peace 
Treaty should have been badly received by the army, 
since it conceded to the defeated enemy terms that 
would have been more suitable if the Afghans had been 

The Afghan View. As was to be expected, in Afghan 
eyes the admission of the independence of their country 
by the British Commission was regarded as a triumph, 
and Amanulla declared that he had drawn the sword to 
vindicate the claim of Afghanistan to independence, and 
had won it. Annual celebrations are held to com- 
memorate Afghan independence, symbolized for some 
years by a column with a chained lion, representing 
Great Britain, at its base; and the Afghans or many 
of them firmly believe that they gained it by victory. 
The Amir thus found his gamble justified and on this 
note the first chapter towards the restoration of normal 
relations with Afghanistan may be concluded. 

Summary of Events in the Near and Middle East. 
Before dealing with the Conference, which was to be 
held at Mussoorie, it seems desirable to mention events 
occurring in neighbouring countries which, in no small 
degree, influenced Indo-Afghan relations. To take the 
position of Turkey, at the Boulogne Conference held on 
June 21, 1919, military action by the Greeks in Anatolia 
was sanctioned. Turkey at this period still maintained 


the Khalifat (Caliphate) and the action of the allies was 
bitterly denounced throughout the Moslem world. In 
India, the Khalifat movement gathered force and, in 
June 1920, developed into Hijrat y l some 18,000 Indian 
Moslems emigrating to Afghanistan. At first they were 
welcomed, but admission was perforce finally refused; 
and the disillusioned emigrants gradually returned to 
their homes, where the benevolent Government of India 
arranged for them to regain their land and houses. 

To turn to Russia: the Whites, who were advancing 
steadily in August 1919, had been defeated by the 
Bolshevists in April 1920. The Soviet and Ankara 
Governments had drawn together, while a Soviet Mission 
had been despatched to Kabul. Again, in Persia, the 
Anglo-Persian Agreement had been signed on August 9, 
1919, but a year later it had not been ratified by the 
Majtis, which finally rejected it. 2 In Iraq there were 
serious troubles among the tribes, which culminated in 
the Arab revolt of July 1920. Taken in conjunction with 
the sinister unrest in Ireland, the situation, so far as 
Great Britain was concerned, had distinctly deteriorated. 

The Situation on the North- West Frontier. The 
position on the North- West Frontier after the termination 
of hostilities caused grave anxiety, since the Wazirs and 
Mahsuds involved the war-weary British army in yet 
another campaign of some importance during the autumn 
and winter of 1 9 1 9-1 920 ; raids were also frequent along 
the frontier from Peshawar to Dera Ismail Khan. Stout- 
hearted Munro, however, recommended the permanent 
occupation of the Khaibar Pass, with the construction 
of a railway line to the Afghan frontier. The settlement 
with the Afridis which included a fine of 50,000 rupees 
and the return of Government arms and property was 
announced in November 1919, but raids by irreconcil- 
ables continued. 

Nadir Khan held ijirga at Hada on January 31,1 920, 
at which he distributed black standards to the Afridis 
and Mohmands, and warned them to be prepared for 

1 Hijrat here signifies quitting a country governed by a ruler who cannot be accepted 
by Moslems. 2 Sykes, op. cit. (3rd ed.), vol. ii, p. 548. 


war. However, in spite of these intrigues, satisfactory 
progress was made with the Afridis and other warlike 
tribesmen. In Waziristan, Colonel Shah Daula, an 
Afghan officer, remained at Wana, but the decision to 
occupy Razmak and to construct a circular road in that 
area improved matters. It remains to add that the 
gradual re-establishment of British authority among the 
tribes was a severe blow to the Amir, who counted on his 
influence with them to serve as a diplomatic lever in his 
negotiations with the British. 

T$e British Conditions of Friendship. The Amir was 
asked to prove the sincerity of his intentions by the 
dismissal of Bolshevist missions and agents. He was 
also asked to dismiss Obaydulla, Mahendra Pratap, 
Barkatulla and other Indian seditionists. Friendly rela- 
tions in connexion with the frontier tribes were also 
insisted on and, finally, improved treatment of the 
British Agent at Kabul. 

Anglo-Afghan relations after the Treaty of Peace. 
There is no doubt that Amanulla and his advisers entirely 
misunderstood British intentions and, as was only natural 
under the circumstances, believed that the British 
expected that the Bolshevists would have been defeated 
and that Turkey would have been partitioned during the 
six months probation ; and finally that Afghanistan would 
be forced to accept unpalatable terms or, once again, be 
invaded. Apart from these ideas, the British attitude 
was wounding to Afghan pride. Amanulla thereupon 
decided to secure the support of Russia and of Turkey, 

Russo-Afghan Relations. In June 1919 an Afghan 
Mission bound for Moscow passed through Tashkent. 
An invitation was also sent for a Bolshevist envoy to visit 
Kabul. In response, Bravine, the Bolshevist representative, 
whom I recollect as a somewhat temperamental secretary 
of the Russian Consulate-General at Meshed in 1913, 
reached Kabul in September 1919. By November, in 
return for an undertaking from Afghanistan to facilitate 
the despatch of arms and propagandists to the Indian 
frontier tribes and to India, the Bolshevists made offers 
which are given below. Bravine was superseded by 


Suritz at the end of the year and the negotiations hung 
fire fpr the time being, 1 

The Amir's Policy. Amanulla in this manner flouted 
the British demand for the exclusion of the Bolshevists. 
As to the dismissal of the Indian seditionists, friendly 
Habibulla Khan was not strong enough to take a step, 
which violated all Moslem ideas of hospitality, whereas 
Amanulla considered them useful allies to be encouraged. 
The question of the frontier tribes, which Amanulla 
rightly held to constitute his ace of spades, was the last 
question on which he would yield and, somewhat ^natur- 
ally, fearing a new British attack, intense intrigues by 
Afghan officials with the frontier tribes were the order 
of the day. Finally, the British Agent at Kabul was 
practically held a prisoner and was not released from 
confinement until August 8, while his correspondence 
was seized. 

The Khaibar Demarcation , August-September 1919. 
To add fuel to the fire, the undefined frontier, in the 
vicinity of Landi Khana from Sisobi to Palosi on the 
Kabul River, was demarcated by Mr. (later Sir John) 
MafFey, in accordance with the terms of the Peace Treaty. 
The proceedings were watched by an Afghan representa- 
tive, whose report formed the subject of a strong protest 
at the Mussoorie Conference. Before quitting this 
subject, it is to be noted that, by the terms of Article II 
of the Treaty of 1921, the Afghan frontier was advanced 
approximately 700 yards along the main road; the Tor 
Kham ridge to the south of the road was also restored to 

The Mussoorie Conference^ 1920. The chief British 
representative at this conference was Mr. (later Sir 
Henry) Dobbs, while Mahmud Tarzi was the chief 
representative of Afghanistan. Four meetings were held 
in the middle of April, but the conference was suspended 
on account of the three following acts of Afghan aggres- 
sion. In Baluchistan, at the instigation of Abdul Kuddus, 
the Governor of Kandahar, a loyal headman in British 

1 Upon his supersession, Bravine became an Afghan subject. He was murdered at 
Ghazni in January 1921 at Bolshevist instigation, according to general belief. 


territory had been abducted by order of the Governor of 
Spin Baldak; in the Kurram Valley, at the instigation of 
Nadir Khan, Tandisar, situated on the British side of 
the Peiwar Kotal, had been occupied by Afghan forces, 
as had also been the case of Lambarbat in Chitral. After 
these questions had been satisfactorily disposed of, the 
conference was resumed early in June. 

Mahmud Tarzi now raised the question of the 
Khalifat^ of the Turkish Peace terms and of the Holy 
Places, but was informed that the Sharif of Mecca was 
entirely independent, that the Khalifat had nothing to 
do with the British Empire, and that no modification in 
the Turkish Peace terms could be made out of regard 
for Afghan feelings. 

As to the agitation among the frontier tribes, Dobbs 
pointed out that it was due to Afghan support, to Bol- 
shevist intrigues encouraged by Afghanistan, and to 
Indian revolutionary agitation in tribal country. The 
Afghans thereupon boldly claimed that the tribes should 
be handed over to them and a yearly subsidy be paid to 
Kabul for controlling them! During the Conference, 
Dobbs, realizing how the world situation had deteriorated, 
replaced the demand for the dismissal of Bolshevists and 
Indian seditionists by a request for their control, to prevent 
them from using Afghanistan as a centre for hostile 
propaganda against the British. Other subjects to be 
discussed were the reception of a British Minister at 
Kabul with consuls at important centres, and the appoint- 
ment of an Afghan Minister to London with a Consul- 
General at Calcutta and Consuls at other centres in India. 

Both Dobbs and Mahmud Tarzi were in favour of 
proceeding to conclude a Treaty at Mussoorie, Dobbs 
being especially influenced by the inopportune arrival at 
Kabul of Jemal Pasha, a famous Turkish general. He 
Kras appointed to reorganize the Afghan army, while 
his presence was calculated to encourage anti-British 
activities. 1 It was, however, decided that Dobbs should 
present an Aide-Memoir e^ containing a summary of the 

1 He left Kabul in September 1921 and was assassinated at Tin 1 is in the following 
year. a Fid* Appendix G. 



intentions and wishes of the British Government to the 
Afghan delegates at the close of the Conference. 
Although no striking success could be claimed for this 
meeting, some obstacles to the restoration of good 
relations had been removed, and the discussions had 
ranged over a wide area. 

Russian Policy and its Reaction on Feeling in Afghanistan. 
At this period Lenin and his chief henchman Trotsky 
were denouncing Great Britain as their chief enemy. In 
Central Asia, however, Moslem revolts were suppressed 
with ferocity and the Amir of Bukhara was driven out 
and took refuge in Afghanistan. His arrival and that of 
hundreds of Uzbeg refugees opened the eyes of Amanulla 
and his people to the real nature of Bolshevist policy and 
produced a revulsion of feeling in favour of the British 
and a readiness to negotiate a defensive alliance with 
them. Accordingly, on October 6, 1920, the Amir 
addressed the Viceroy and invited " trustworthy re- 
presentatives, invested with power to conclude a Treaty ", 
to Kabul. Had this invitation been immediately accepted, 
the situation would have been distinctly more favourable 
than it was three months later. 

The Dobbs Mission to Kabul. In response to the 
Amir's invitation, Dobbs proceeded to Kabul, ac- 
companied by a large staff. In January 1921, at the first 
private meeting between the Amir, Mahmud Tarzi, and 
Dobbs, a Draft Treaty was produced by the Afghans and 
rejected by the British representative as being entirely 
unacceptable. On April 5 an amended Afghan draft, 
stated by Mahmud Tarzi to be "absolutely final", was 
also declared by the British envoy to be " wholly un- 
acceptable ". 

On January 18, at a Conference with Mahmud 
Tarzi and Nadir Khan, assurances were given that the 
ratification of the Russo-Afghan Treaty had not yec 
taken place, and that Jemal Pasha would not be allowed 
to intrigue with the frontier tribes. Nadir Khan, in 
return, pressed for some concessions to Afghan pre- 
tensions in connexion with the tribes on the British side 
of the frontier. This was met by Dobbs drafting a clause 


which provided for reciprocal information by the two 
Governments regarding any measures that might appear 
necessary for the maintenance of order among the tribes 
on the common frontier. It also proposed periodical 
meetings between British and Afghan frontier officials. 

The Treaties of Afghanistan with Russia, Persia and 
Turkey. Arnold Toynbee, in his survey of the position 
of the Soviet Government after the revolution of 1917, 
writes that during the first ten years of its existence in 
its constant efforts to break the cordon of the " Capitalist " 
phalanx, it turned to the three Middle Eastern countries. 1 
He points out that after the Armistice Great Britain 
caused alarm to these three countries and opened the way 
for two sets of treaties, the first of which was built up 
during the year 1921, and the second during the years 
1925-1928. In the former year we have the Russo- 
Afghan Treaty. There were also the Turko-Afghan 
Treaty and the Perso-Afghan Treaty, thus, since each 
country had a treaty with Russia, constituting a system 
of treaties linking Afghanistan, Turkey and Persia with 
Soviet Russia, and proving clearly that Russia was 
determined to build up a strong entente with these 
Moslem powers, and to unite them with one another. 
The community of interests at this period was mainly, 
it would seem, hostility towards Great Britain. 

The Russo-Afghan Treaty, which was ratified by the 
Amir in August of that year, provided for the reciprocal 
establishment of Legations and for Russian Consulates 
to be established at Herat, Maimena, Mazar-i- Sharif, 
Kandahar and Ghazni. Seven Afghan Consulates were 
to be established at Petrograd and other centres. Other 
important clauses included a " yearly free subsidy to the 
extent of one million gold or silver roubles, in coin or 
bullion, together with a supply of munitions to be given 
to Afghanistan; finally, the transfer of the Panjdeh 
district to Afghanistan, and the construction of a Kushk- 
Herat-Kandahar-Kabul telegraph line were also promised, 
It is, however, to be noted that the Russian Minister at 
Kabul promised not to establish consulates at Ghazni or 

1 Vide Survey of International Affairs^ 1928. 


Kandahar, and the British Envoy was informed of this 

The British-Russian Trade Agreement. The almost 
simultaneous signing by Sir Robert Home and M. 
Krassin on March 16, 1921, of a British-Russian Trade 
Agreement, which had been negotiated without the 
knowledge 6f the Government of India, added con- 
siderably to the difficulties of Dobbs, since it would be 
unreasonable to expect Afghanistan alone to maintain 
opposition to Russian policy, while such oppositipn had 
not been shown by Great Britain. 

The Afghan Mission to Europe^ 1920-1921. It seems 
desirable at this point to refer to the Mission headed by 
Sirdar Muhammad Wali Khan, who conducted conversa- 
tions in Russia in 1920 preliminary to the negotiation 
of a Russo-Afghan Treaty. From Moscow the Mission 
visited Berlin, where arrangements were made for the 
engagement of German engineers and air personnel. At 
Rome it was received by the King and the Foreign 
Minister and an Agreement was signed by Count Sforza 
for the despatch of a Commercial Mission to Afghanistan 
and for the initiation of reciprocal diplomatic relations. 
Lord Curzon protested against the conduct of the Italian 
Government in concluding this Agreement. A treaty 
was next signed in Paris providing for the exchange of 
diplomatic representatives. At Washington, on the other 
hand, reciprocal diplomatic representation was not agreed 
to, but the possibility of appointing an American Consul 
to Kabul was considered. 

In August 1921 the Mission reached England, where 
its members were treated as the guests of His Majesty's 
Government. Muhammad Wali was the bearer of letters 
from the Amir to the King-Emperor and from Mahmud 
Tarzi to the " Foreign Ministry ". The Afghan dele- 
gates persistently refused to enter into any relations with 
the India Office, whose desire to facilitate their objects 
was accordingly frustrated. 

On August 14 they were received by Lord Curzon, 
who, when Muhammad Wali began making a reference 
to the negotiations pending at Kabul, abruptly terminated 


the conversation, declaring that these negotiations had 
nothing to do with him, but were the sole concern of the 
Government of India and the India Office. The letter 
to the Foreign Ministry was then presented but was 
unopened during the interview; the Amir's letter to the 
King was also handed over to Curzon. 

It was most unfortunate that this Mission was 
despatched to Europe before the conclusion of the treaty 
which was being negotiated at Kabul; a different course 
would have prevented misunderstandings. The in- 
struct&ns received by the Afghan representatives to 
have no dealings with the India Office were equally 
unfortunate and placed the Foreign Office in a very 
difficult position. However, a more courteous and 
sympathetic attitude by Lord Curzon might well have 
avoided compromising the sufficiently difficult position 
at Kabul. 

A Suspension of Negotiations. To return to that city: 
the suspicious loss of the Mission mailbag of July 30 
caused a suspension of negotiations. During this period, 
on August 28, Mahmud Tarzi had written a note 
couched in terms of studied rudeness, complaining of the 
reception accorded to the Afghan Mission in London. 
This letter he cancelled shortly afterwards, but it supplied 
proof that the Amir was deeply offended. 

Lord Curzon's Note to the Soviet. At this period, on 
September 7, 1921, Curzon wrote a note to the Soviet 
Government protesting strongly against the continuance 
of hostile activities and stating that the Russian Treaty 
with Afghanistan was the most serious charge of all 
that the British Government had to make against the 
Soviet Government. Assuming that the contents of this 
note reached Amanulla, it might well have stiffened his 
attitude towards the British and thereby have added to 
the difficulties of Dobbs. 

Negotiations Resumed. On November 8 the Amir 
stated that without large tribal concessions an under- 
standing was impossible. Matters had apparently reached 
a complete impasse and a date was fixed for the departure 
of the Mission after a final official meeting. 


The Amir signs the Treaty. However, on November 1 5, 
1921, the Amir, maintaining to the last the " extraordinary 
fiction " that his Foreign Minister knew nothing of the 
discussions preliminary to this decision, signed the 
Treaty. 1 Complimentary messages were then exchanged 
and, in a friendly communication from the King- Emperor, 
Amanulla was accorded the style of " Your Majesty ". 

A Retrospect. The difficulties of the British Envoy 
were serious enough owing to the intransigent attitude 
of the Afghans. But they were materially increased by 
the signature of the Russo-Afghan Treaty shortly after 
the commencement of negotiations, by the deterioration 
of the world situation, by disturbed political conditions 
in India and by the frigid reception of the Afghan Mission 
by Lord Curzon. Finally, as we have seen, the Amir 
arranged with the Russian envoy that Russian consulates 
should not be founded at Ghazni or Kandahar and, 
apparently acting on impulse, signed the treaty. 

Much credit is due to the ability and patience dis- 
played by Sir Henry Dobbs, and, to close this somewhat 
depressing account of the negotiations in a lighter vein, 
I quote the remarks made by Brigadier-General Muspratt, 
the Military Adviser to the Mission: " The tedium of 
the negotiations was varied by a succession of ultimatums 
and last words. More than once the Mission was packing 
up, but the dove with the olive branch arrived in time. 
It was a most reliable bird/' 

1 Vide Appendix H, 


Afghans are never at peace among themselves except when they are at 


The Situation in the Near and Middle East. Before 
dealing with the situation which confronted Major (later 
Sir Francis) Humphrys on founding the British Legation 
at Kabul, a brief reference to external affairs in which 
Afghanistan was deeply interested is desirable. To 
commence our survey with Turkey: by the autumn of 
1922 the Turks had defeated and driven out the Greeks 
from Asia Minor. The neutral zone covering the 
Bosphorus and Dardanelles was threatened, and the 
French and Italians withdrew from the Asiatic shore, 
leaving the British unsupported. Hostilities were 
narrowly averted at Chanak, but a modus vivendi was 
arranged by the conclusion of the Mudania Convention 
and, in July 1923, a treaty was signed at Lausanne. In 
October of the same year the Turkish Republic, with 
Mustafa Kemal as President, was inaugurated and, in 
the spring of 1924, the Caliphate was abolished, while 
the Sheikh-ul-Islam was excluded from the Council of 
Ministers; the religious estates and funds were con- 

To turn to Russia: on May 3, 1923, a strong 
British note, protesting against Russian propaganda in 
Afghanistan and among the frontier tribes, concluded 
with a demand for the recall of the Russian Minister 
Raskolnik, who was transferred to another post. To sum 
up: in the spring of 1924 the general situation showed 
distinct improvement in the British position in Asia, 
more especially owing to the abolition of the Caliphate, 



which dumbfounded the leaders of the Khilafat move- 
ment in India. 

. The Arrival of the First British Minister. Humphrys, 
who founded the British Legation at Kabul in March 
1922, was a distinguished frontier officer and was also 
thoroughly conversant with Afghan mentality. It was 
clear that Russia, by paying a handsome subsidy in 
money and munitions, occupied a strong position at 
Kabul, albeit the Amir must have realized that any 
Russian threat to India could only be made good at the 
expense of Afghanistan. S< 

As regards the tribes on the Indo-Afghan frontier, 
the Amir and his advisers naturally disliked British 
determination to occupy the misnamed " independent " 
area and they fished continuously in these troubled 
waters. Needless to say, they particularly disliked the 
construction of the Khaibar railway. The Soviet Minister 
thus found numerous agents ready and competent to 
conduct his sinister intrigues with the Wazirs, Mahsuds 
and other turbulent tribesmen. 

The Amirs Dream of Bukhara. At the time of the 
arrival of Humphrys the Amir, who was keenly interested 
in the rebellion of Bukhara, and hoped to draw advantage 
from it, had despatched troops under Nadir Khan to the 
Oxus frontier. He pressed for the public recognition of 
the independence of Bukhara and Khiva by Great 
Britain, which was, of course, out of the question. Ulti- 
mately the death of Enver Pasha, leader of the Bukharan 
revolt, who fell into a Russian ambush on August 4, 
shattered Amanulla's fond hopes of territorial expansion 
in Central Asia. It remains to add that the ex-Amir of 
Bukhara, who had taken refuge in Afghanistan in the 
spring of 1921, decided to live there permanently. 

The Expulsion of the Indian Seditionists. In October 
1922, realizing that the Russians were financing the; 
Indian seditionists, the Amir finally expelled Obaydulla, 
who led one party to Tashkent, while the other under 
Kazi Abdul Wali proceeded to Turkey. This expulsion 
constituted a real service to the Government of India. 

The Amir and British Tribes on the Indo-Afghan 


Frontier. As was to be expected, upon the frustration of 
the Central Asian dream, the Amir once again turned 
his attention to the tribes of the Indo-Afghan Frontier. 
The British policy of an advance on Razmak at this period 
involved bombing action against hostile tribesmen, who, 
in consequence, fled to Afghanistan. The Amir strongly 
protested, more especially when some casualties occurred 
in Afghan territory. A Court of Inquiry was, however, 
promptly held, and the British paid an indemnity of 
1 7,000 rupees Kabuli. This settlement was of consider- 
able political value, since it proved the readiness of the 
British Government to act justly and pay for losses 
inflicted on Afghans. Generally speaking, however, the 
complaints made by the Afghan Government were proved 
to be based on unsubstantial grounds and were mainly 
an expression of Afghan fears as to " the thinning of the 
prickly hedge ". 

A Crisis in British-Afghan Relations. Murders of 
British officers and their wives, abduction cases and raids 
were, however, numerous at this period and naturally 
caused grave anxiety. The Afghan Government at first 
failed to fulfil their promises in seizing the guilty and in 
other ways, but were finally induced to comply with the 
reasonable demands of the British Government. This 
compliance weakened the position of the Amir in Afghan- 
istan, not only as having yielded to British pressure but 
as having presumably lost their goodwill. 

The Arrival of French, German, Italian and Turkish 
Representatives and Subjects at Kabul. In 1922 two 
French archaeologists, Messrs. Foucher and Godard, 
whose Government had secured the monopoly of excavat- 
ing ancient ruins, appeared at Kabul and, in due course, 
commenced their successful labours on the Buddhist 
remains at Bamian. A Minister founded the French 
Legation in the autumn of 1923, and three French 
professors also opened a school. The German colony, 
which was represented by a Chargt d' Affaires^ included 
engineers and doctors. Among them was Oertel, who 
had been an associate of Wassmuss in Persia. The 
Italian colony, which included six agricultural experts, 


numbered seventy-one. Turkey was represented by 
Fakhri Pasha, a fanatical Anglophobe. He was ac- 
companied by a staff of instructors whose services were 
not utilized much to his disgust. 

Afghan Relations with Russia. The promised subsidy 
to Afghanistan began to be paid in part, but was kept a 
good deal in arrears. Munitions were also supplied to 
some extent, but there was no indication of the promised 
transfer to Afghanistan of the Panjdeh area, as stipulated 
in Article IX of the treaty. Moreover, the expulsion by 
the Amir of the Indian seditionists was much r^ented 
by the Russian Minister. 

The Internal Position in April 1924. The Amir had 
attempted to push through his reforms, some of which 
were excellent, but all of them were disliked by his 
fanatical and suspicious subjects. Especially obnoxious 
was the new Administrative Code, drafted by a Turkish 
adviser, which the Mullas declared to be unlawful. 
Apart from this, the people resented the appearance of 
foreign doctors and engineers at Kabul, who were seen 
strolling aimlessly about the city. Meanwhile the army 
had been neglected, was unpaid and had deteriorated. 

The Khost Rebellion, March 192 4- January 1925. 
A serious revolt, which was symptomatic of Afghan 
feeling, broke out in the spring of 1924. It grew in 
strength until, in August, an Afghan force was cut to 
pieces, and panic-stricken Kabul lay practically un- 
defended. However, Mohmands, Shinwaris, Wazirs and 
Hazaras were enlisted by lavish expenditure of money, 
while Jihad was declared against the rebels. Finally, in 
January 1925, the revolt was crushed by the capture of 
its leader, the " Lame Mulla ", who with the male members 
of his family was executed. It would appear that the 
tribesmen united mainly in opposition to a section in the 
new Code which deprived the father and husband of his, 
power to treat his daughter and wife as mere chattels. 

The Results of the Rebellion. The cost of the rebellion, 
which was estimated at approximately 5,000,000 or 
two years' revenue, was very heavy. It had seriously dis- 
credited and discouraged the Afghan army ; it had checked 


schemes for educational progress and had caused a serious 
deterioration of administration. 

The British had helped Amanulla by the supply, on 
payment, of Lewis guns, rifles and ammunition, while 
two aeroplanes which were also supplied did much to 
restore the moral of Kabul and discouraged the rebels. 
Against this assistance, the appearance in Khost of Abdul 
Karim, a slave-born son of ex-Amir Yakub Khan as a 
claimant to the throne, aroused charges of British bad 
faith, which the suspicious Afghans readily accepted. 

T}h Army. At this point some brief account of the 
condition of the army, on which Amanulla mainly 
depended, may be appropriate. The soldiers were hardly 
able to feed themselves on the miserable pittance they 
received, and were very badly equipped. Their position 
was practically that of menial servants when stationed as 
guards to Government offices, etc. Their military training 
was utterly inadequate and medical treatment was lacking. 
The staff and the senior regimental officers were recruited 
from among young Afghans who had received a smatter- 
ing of modern military education, either in Europe or at 
Kabul, and the older officers bitterly resented being 
superseded by these inexperienced youths. Generally 
speaking, except in time of need, the Amir grudged 
expenditure on his army. 

The Piparno Case. In July 1924 an Italian engineer, 
Piparno by name, shot dead an Afghan policeman who 
had been ordered to arrest him upon his refusal to obey 
a summons from the Police Commandant at Kabul. In 
January 1925 the case was settled in accordance with 
Moslem law by the acceptance of a large sum as blood 
money by the heirs of the deceased Afghan. But the 
Amir, alarmed by hostile public opinion, was afraid to 
release Piparno, who was sent back to prison until the 
rights of the State, as distinguished from those of the 
relations of the murdered man, were vindicated. In 
March, Piparno was allowed to escape, but, losing his 
nerve, gave himself up to the Afghan guards on the 
Oxus frontier. He was thereupon taken back to Kabul, 
where he was secretly retried, sentenced and hanged. 


This grave miscarriage of justice caused the Italian 
Government to demand an official expression of regret, 
including a visit to the Italian Legation of the Afghan 
Minister for Foreign Affairs, the return of the blood 
money and an indemnity of 7000. Meanwhile they 
held up a cargo of munitions on which 25,000 had been 
paid; they also attached the Afghan Minister's bank 
balance at Rome, amounting to 15,000. Negotiations 
proceeded on the lines so familiar to the British, and 
both the Italian and Afghan Governments were prepared 
to withdraw their Legations. On August i4/ ;> a few 
hours before the members of the Italian Legation were 
due to leave Kabul, the Amir intervened and the case 
was settled by a visit of the Under-Secretary of the 
Afghan Foreign Office to the Italian Legation to apolo- 
gize, the dismissal of the Chief of Police and an in- 
demnity of 6000. This unfortunate episode resulted 
in the departure of most of the Italian subjects from 

The Afghan-German Treaty of 1926. The German 
colony in Afghanistan prospered, and schemes for a 
bank, for an air service with Tashkent and for wireless 
installations were mooted but failed to materialize. 
German airmen flew the two aeroplanes mentioned above 
during the Khost rebellion, but one of them was shot 
dead by a compatriot in a private quarrel and the other, 
unable to work with the Russians, who had taken charge 
of the Afghan Air Force, left the country. In 1924 a 
school for boys was opened by German teachers. 

To continue this account: in November 1925 a 
German, Dr. Sauer, who was travelling to Kabul on a 
bicycle, shot an Afghan under circumstances which were 
not cleared up. He was sentenced to four years' imprison- 
ment, but was pardoned by the Amir. In 1926 a formal 
treaty was signed between Afghanistan and Germany. \ 

Russian Policy. At the close of 1924 the creation 
of the nominally independent nationalist states Turk- 
menistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan was viewed with 
deep suspicion in Afghanistan, where it was considered, 
rightly perhaps, that it was intended as a step in the 


direction of the annexation to the Soviet Union of 
Afghan Turkistan. 

The Urtatagai Incident^ 1925. In December there 
was a collision between Afghan guards stationed on 
this island (situated in the Oxus) and some Soviet troops 
who drove them out and occupied it. For a while there 
was extreme tension at Kabul, but finally it was realized 
that the trouble was due to a misunderstanding and the 
Soviet troops were withdrawn. 

The Russo-Afghan Security Pact, 1926. Partly owing 
to the 'above incident, which increased Afghan appre- 
hensions, a " Pact of Neutrality and Non-Aggression " 
was negotiated between the two countries. This colour- 
less instrument, which was barren of material advantages 
to Afghanistan, was of little importance and in no way 
compensated for the blow to Russian prestige of the 
Urtatagai incident. 

A Retrospect. To conclude: an attempt has been 
made in this chapter to show how Afghanistan was 
shaping under new and very difficult conditions, Ama- 
nulla's basic ideas were sound and reasonable. He sought 
association with the more highly civilized Powers of 
Europe, partly to avoid being a pawn in Anglo-Russian 
relations, and also with a view to the introduction of 
western ideas of progress, and the formation of the 
Afghans into a united nation, but he was quite unable 
" to hasten slowly ". Had Amanulla cherished his army 
and secured its efficiency and contentment, the situation 
might well have been more satisfactory. 



During our stay in England such favours, acts of kindness, and sincere 
regards were so profusely shown us by Your Majesties, members of <ne Royal 
Family, Your Majesty's Government and the people of England, that they 
will always remain treasured in our memories. Message of KING AMANULLA 
upon leaving England. 

The Invitation to King Amanulla. The first official 
intimation of King Amanulla's intention to visit Europe 
via India, and to include London among the capitals 
which he would visit, was conveyed to the Foreign Office 
by the Afghan Minister in London in September 1927, 
who also stated that the Amir would leave Kabul on 
December 7. On October 2 the British Charge d y Affaires 
at Kabul personally delivered to King Amanulla a cordial 
invitation from King George to visit London, The 
Viceroy, Lord Irwin, also invited him to stay at Delhi 
on his way to Bombay, if that arrangement would be 
convenient to His Majesty. 

The Journey to Bombay. The Afghan party, which 
included the Queen, Ghulam Sadik Khan, the officiating 
Foreign Minister, and many other high officials, were 
welcomed at Chaman, where Colonel St. John handed 
His Majesty telegrams of welcome from King George 
and from the Viceroy. During the passage of the Khojak 
tunnel, after leaving Chaman in a special train, a member 
of the Afghan party somewhat unfortunately pulled the 
communication cord. This resulted in the breakage of 
couplings, which took some time to repair. Fortunately 
a strong wind was ventilating the tunnel, but even so, 
with four engines smoking, it was a disagreeable 

At Karachi King Amanulla attended a garden party 


where addresses were presented to him. He made a 
speech dwelling on the friendly relations existing between 
the Afghan and British Governments and peoples and 
strongly urged religious and social tolerance, especially 
warning his Moslem hearers against being led astray 
by ignorant Mullas. This speech was intended to be 
his " message to the people of India ". 

The Visit to Bombay. At Bombay, where Sir Francis 
Humphrys met the Amir and took over political charge, 
Lord Irwin, who had intended to meet His Majesty, was 
unfortunately unable to do so owing to an attack of 
malaria. This contretemps caused grave suspicions in the 
mind of the Afghan Foreign Minister, who behaved dis- 
courteously in various ways, more especially as regards 
the question of seating at the banquet. 

There was, without doubt, an intrigue on foot among 
the Afghan Ministers to make the visit a failure. This 
party had gained an initial success by refusing to accept 
the Viceroy's invitation to break the journey at Delhi, 
and wished to pursue their policy still further. However, 
thanks mainly to the firmness and tact of Humphrys, the 
plot was foiled. Generally speaking, the Amir was 
gratified by the warmth of his reception, by the playing 
of the Afghan National Anthem and by the display of 
the Afghan flag. He was especially gratified by the 
participation of troops in his official receptions and by 
the aerial escort furnished by the Royal Air Force, which 
not only escorted him from Chaman but flew out to meet 
the royal train from Karachi, a significant proof of air 

Embarking on the P. & O. Rajputana^ at Aden the 
Amir was received by General Stewart and drove through 
streets lined with troops to the Memorial Hall, where 
prominent citizens were presented to him. He then 
inspected the famous tanks. 

The Arrival of King Amanulla in Egypt. The Amir 
reached Suez on December 26, where he was honoured 
by a salute of twenty-one guns. He landed at Port Said 
to be received by a cousin of the King and was welcomed 
at Cairo by King Fuad himself, driving with him through 


crowds whose greeting was most friendly. He attended 
a State banquet, visited the Pyramids, and Fuad conferred 
tht grand cordon of the Order of Mehemet AH on him. 
It was reported that Amanulla asked Fuad whether, in 
view of the. recent war with Great Britain, he would 
be well received in England. The reply was: "The 
English are the most generous nation in the whole world 
and you will be welcomed like a long-lost son ". 

King Amanulla visits Italy. Leaving Egypt, early in 
January 1928, Amanulla landed at Naples from the 
s.s. Italia, and at Rome was welcomed by the Kiftg and 
Queen while military aeroplanes wheeled over and around 
the airship Esperia. Troops were massed at the station 
and lined the streets. There was the usual State banquet 
and the King conferred the Collar of the Annunciation 
upon his royal visitor. Amanulla also visited the Pope 
and received the Order of the Golden Spur from His 
Holiness. He was also well received by the populace. 

The Visit to Paris. The Afghan royal party which 
had left Nice on January 25 was met in Paris on the 
following morning by President Doumergue at the 
railway station, where troops and bands were massed. 
The President drove with the King, while M. Briand 
escorted Queen Souriya in the second carriage, to the 
Foreign Office, where a sumptuous suite of rooms had 
been arranged for their reception. At the Hotel-de-Ville 
the King was presented with the gold medal of the City 
of Paris. He was also given a rifle, while a dainty clock 
was offered to the Queen. Of especial interest to the 
royal visitors was the meeting with one of their sons, a 
handsome youth of sixteen, who was undergoing an 
examination before entering St. Cyr. 

Queen Souriya on Afghan Women. The Queen, who, 
it must be understood, had been educated in Syria, at an 
interview she granted, stated that she was the first womari" 
to work for the emancipation of women in Afghanistan 
and that, in spite of fierce opposition from the old- 
fashioned Moslems, she had founded a school with 800 
girls. Under the direction of her mother, they were 
being trained entirely on European lines. 


King Amanulla visits Berlin. On February 23, for 
the first time since the revolution, Berlin gave a welcome 
to royal guests. A deputation met the party on the Swiss 
frontier and, at Berlin, President Hindenburg, who was 
dressed in black clothes and wore a silk hat, received 
King Amanulla. In the subsequent drive through streets 
lined by the Reichswehr there was an unpleasant incident 
near the Brandenburg Gate. The former Crown Prince 
suddenly appeared in his red motor-car to be greeted by 
cheering, which was immediately countered by hissing. 
Later, Visiting the Tempelhofer Field, the Amir was 
presented with a Junkers commercial aeroplane. During 
the visit hopes were expressed by Hindenburg and other 
officials that Afghanistan would make use of capable 
German doctors, teachers and engineers. During this 
visit, Amanulla was much embarrassed by the people 
shouting, " Long live the Monarchy and down with the 
Republic 1" 

King Amanulla reaches England. On March 1 3 King 
Amanulla was greeted at Dover by the Prince of Wales. 
At Victoria Station he was welcomed by King George, 
Queen Mary, the Prime Minister and other officials and 
drove in a State procession to Buckingham Palace. Later, 
visits were paid to the Cenotaph and to the Unknown 
Warrior's Grave; at night there was a State banquet. 

On the following day the Amir drove to the Guildhall, 
where he received an address prior to an official luncheon 
to which 800 guests were invited; and in the evening the 
Afghan visitors were entertained at a banquet given by 
His Majesty's Government at the Foreign Office. This 
concluded the official entertainment and, the following 
day, the royal party proceeded to Claridge's Hotel. 

A full account of the Amir's activities while in England 
is hardly called for, but, of special importance, a display 
by the Royal Air Force, a tank demonstration at Lulworth 
and the inspection of a mechanized force at Tidworth 
may be mentioned. Visits were also paid to Woolwich 
Arsenal and to the Royal Military College at Camberley. 

At Portsmouth the Amir was conducted over the 
Victory and the Tiger. He then embarked on a submarine 



which hoisted the Afghan flag, and, with the s.s. Alresford 
conveying Queen Souriya and the suite in her wake, 
steamed out of the harbour. The submarine then sub- 
merged, the movement causing apprehension to Her 
Majesty, but she was speedily reassured by a message 
which ran, " I send you my best wishes from under the 
sea ". The King was then invited to fire two torpedoes 
at the target ship. He fired and was immensely gratified 
by the receipt of a signal that both shots were hits. At 
a later date he visited the Atlantic Fleet and witnessed 
various demonstrations by destroyers, submarines and 

Their Majesties were also the guests of the Lord 
Mayors of Liverpool, Manchester and Sheffield. The 
speech at Liverpool, it may be noted, contained a Persian 
couplet, the translation of which ran : 

May the King's body be ever without pain, 
May his sitting ever be upon treasure, 
May the commander of his army ever be glad, 
May his mind be serene and his treasury full! 

The tour also included the Royal Observatory at Green- 
wich and the University of Oxford, where His Majesty, 
who was praised for his determination to found a Uni- 
versity at Kabul, received the degree of D.C.L. He also 
went to the Royal Geographical Society to receive the 
Diploma of Honorary Membership of the Society. Nor 
were sporting events neglected, since their Majesties 
attended the Grand National Race, the Oxford and 
Cambridge Boat Race and an Association football match. 

On April 5 King Amanulla, after enjoying experi- 
ences that no Afghan can possibly have equalled, left 
England to continue his tour. His message to his hosts 
serves as a motto to this chapter and proves that our 
Afghan visitors had thoroughly enjoyed themselves. ^ 

Summary. The Afghan King and Queen were deeply 
impressed by the cordiality of their reception by King 
George and Queen Mary and this, combined with the 
magnificent pageantry of the State visit and the con- 
ferring upon Amanulla the Collar of the Royal Victorian 


Order, dispelled any suspicions that they may have enter- 
tained. Moreover, the warm popular welcome that 
greeted them wherever they went, alike in towns and 
in the countryside, made the royal guests fully realize 
the genuine nature of British hospitality. A point that 
was noted during the visit was Amanulla's indifference 
towards Moslem circles and institutions in England, 
where, indeed, he refused to receive an address. Again, 
the calm efficiency of the police never failed to excite 
his admiration. Of Windsor Castle he remarked: " It 
is the^perfect abode of mighty Kings who have reigned 
through the centuries ", and, on driving away from it, 
he experienced similar feelings to those his father had 
expressed on leaving India after his visit to Lord Minto. 
Indeed, a member of his suite with true Oriental hyper- 
bole exclaimed: " No Englishman has the right to go 
to heaven when he is dead, since he has already enjoyed 
it on earth! " To conclude these remarks: The Times 
aptly compared the visit to England of Amanulla with 
that of Peter the Great of Russia. 

The Visit to Russia. On May 4 the Afghan royal 
party reached Moscow, where they were welcomed by 
the President, Mikhael Kalinin. They inspected the 
Kremlin, and there was a gala performance of Eastern 
music at the State Opera House. They also witnessed 
a sham battle which embraced all arms of the Russian 
service. Gifts consisting of two tractors, specimens of 
peasants' work and an album were presented to them. 
As may be supposed, the reception of royal visitors by 
Soviet officials constituted a difficult task and the views 
of the suite, if not of the King himself, might be summed 
up in a single word anticlimax. 

The Afghan King in Turkey. Towards the end of 
May King Amanulla, who had embarked on a Turkish 
Steamer at Sevastopol, arrived at Constantinople, escorted 
by Turkish men-of-war and by aeroplanes. Landing 
at Haidar Pasha, he inspected the Turkish guard of 
honour and some fifty young Afghan officers who were 
being trained at the Turkish Military Academy. On 
arrival at Angora he was welcomed by Mustafa Kemal 


Ghazij and a banquet was given in honour of the royal 
visitors. At this function their host referred to the 
common origin of the two peoples, to their successful 
struggles for independence and he praised the work of 
social restoration undertaken by King Amanulla. In 
reply, the royal guest expressed his affection and admira- 
tion for Turkey and declared that " our two sister nations 
have the same policy and the same duties. Afghanistan 
is ready to perform those duties. " 

King Amanulla visits Persia. At Constantinople 
where, on his return from Angora, he was receivect with 
much enthusiasm, Amanulla spent three days in witness- 
ing a regatta, visiting the Military Academy and in 
sightseeing. He also saluted the troops at a march past. 
He then proceeded to Persia and, at Tehran, he was 
warmly welcomed by Shah Riza Pahlavi, who is one of 
the outstanding figures of this generation. While at this 
capital, in order to accentuate the new order introduced 
by the Shah, he personally drove the Queen and her 
sister into the bazaars. 

The End of the Journey. The long journey was 
finally ended by Amanulla driving his Rolls Royce via 
Meshed and Kandahar to Kabul, where his return was 
celebrated by three days' holiday, with general rejoicings 
and illuminations. Thus ended a seven-months' journey, 
during which, for the first time, an Afghan King had 
visited the majority of European countries and also 
Egypt, Turkey and Persia. 

The Second Series of Treaties between the U.S.S.R. and 
the Middle-Eastern States. In Chapter LI I a summary 
was given of a first series of treaties forming a network 
between the U.S.S.R. and the states of the Middle East, 
who also negotiated treaties with each other. 

To continue with the second series in August 1926 a 
treaty of neutrality and mutual non-aggression betweer* 
the Soviet Government and Afghanistan was signed at 
Paghman. In 1928 negotiations for a commercial treaty 
with Russia was also initiated, but since the Soviet 
Government denied the permission for the transit of 
goods imported from a third country over Russian 


territory, the negotiations broke down. It is note- 
worthy that owing to the change in the international 
situation the influence that Russia had exercised over 
the Middle Eastern states had waned. In proof of this, 
whereas the treaties of 1921 were all signed at Moscow, 
in 1925-1928, only one out of eight instruments was 
signed at the Russian capital, as against six at either 
Tehran, Angora or Kabul. Moreover, at this period, 
Afghanistan, Turkey and Persia were extending their 
treaty relations, Turkey, for instance, concluding a 
treaty' *of neutrality, conciliation and judicial regulation 
with Italy in 1928. This extension of relations with the 
West was foreshadowed in the Turko-Afghan Treaty of 

To quote Toynbee: "By 1928 it had come to be 
realized in the Middle East that the aggressions of the 
Western Powers, which had evoked the defensive treaties 
of 1921, was a temporary after-effect of the General 
War of 1914-1918 . , , and that Western Governments, 
increasingly sensitive to opinion at home, were showing 
a correspondingly greater disinclination to act with a 
high hand." ' 

1 Op. cit. for 1928, p. 366. 


Haste is from the Devil. Persian Saying. 

The Five-Day Speech of Amanulla. Upon his safe 
return to Kabul from his long journey, King Amanulla 
delivered a speech which lasted for five days. It con- 
tained a full narrative of his tour in Europe, Turkey and 
Persia, and referred with pride to the treaties which had 
been signed with many countries; it continued with an 
account of the impressions he had formed and concluded 
with a detailed outline of the policy he intended the 
Afghan nation to adopt. It was, indeed, a Homeric 
speech, which ended with the King embracing a soldier, 
an official, a civilian and a student as representatives of 
his subjects. 

The Conflict between the Old Order and the New. 
During the long absence of their King the Mullas had 
been busy. The fact that the Queen had appeared 
unveiled while in Europe and had been photographed 
was most unfavourably commented on; much fuel was 
added to the fire when, after her return, she dined 
unveiled at a banquet. Both the King and Queen, how- 
ever, encouraged by the success of Mustafa Kemal and 
of Shah Riza in their reforms, were determined to carry 
through similar reforms in Afghanistan. 

The Protest of the Mullas. Shortly after his return to 
Kabul a Deputation of Mullas waited on Amanulla to v 
protest against the appearance of the Queen and her 
ladies in public without veils. The King in his reply 
pointed out that there was no purdah in the villages. 
The Mullas said that poor village women discarded their 
veils since they must work. Amanulla thereupon replied 



that, when the village women wore veils, the Queen 
would also cover her face in public. The Mullas there- 
upon departed thoroughly disgruntled. 

The Formation of a Legislative Assembly, 1928. In 
September a Jirga, under the instructions of Amanulla, 
decreed the establishment of the first Afghan Parliament 
to be elected by the votes of all literate Afghans, It con- 
stituted a Legislative Assembly of 1 50 members selected 
from the Grand Assembly to sit at Kabul for eight months 
every year. At its meeting, Queen Souriya was pro- 
claimtid Queen and the King's ten-year-old son Heir- 
Apparent. The length of compulsory service in the 
army was also increased from two to three years and all 
exemptions were abolished. Moreover, a national levy 
of 3 rupees for every male and a month's pay from every 
official was ordered to cover the purchase of armaments. 
The question of polygamy was then brought up, and 
Amanulla declared that it was the chief cause of corrup- 
tion and that any Government servant who took a second 
wife would have to tender his resignation. Yet another 
proposal to fix the age of marriage for girls at 1 8 years 
and for youths at 22 years excited such strong opposition 
that it was withdrawn. 

The Scheme for Education. Amanulla decided that 
education should be universal and very cheap, while it 
was to be free for the poor. This measure met with 
approval, but the training of Afghan girls on European 
lines was bitterly opposed by the conservative Afghans. 

Dress Regulations. To continue: in November 1928, 
an order was issued to come into force in March of the 
following year. By its terms the inhabitants of Kabul, 
and Afghans visiting the capital, were ordered to wear 
complete European dress, including hats. The result of 
this preposterous edict was to create a body of men who 
set up booths on each high road and let out the necessary 
clothes to villagers visiting the capital! It is stated that 
Amanulla personally tore turbans from the heads of citizens 
who had adopted European clothes but clung to their 
cherished headgear. 

The Outbreak of the Revolt. Amanulla should have 


realized that Mustafa Kemal was not only a victorious 
general, who was supported by a disciplined, well- 
paid army, but that Turks and, in a lesser degree, 
Persians, had been in touch with Europeans for many 
generations, whereas Afghans living, generally speaking, 
in isolated valleys in snow-clad ranges or on wide semi- 
desert plains, had hardly ever met with Europeans, 
whom their Mullas invariably termed Kafirs or Infidels. 

Indeed, to anyone acquainted with Afghan tribes- 
men, it was evident that the issue of orders for new 
unpopular reforms almost weekly, without the*' loyal 
support of the army, would soon arouse the spirit of 
revolt. The first notice of tribal unrest, as it was euphem- 
istically termed, was a rising of the Shinwaris who, living 
up to their reputation for lawlessness, attacked Jalalabad 
and burned the hangars of the local aerodrome, together 
with its contents. Failing to capture the city by blowing 
up a section of its wall, the rebels cut off its water-supply 
and closed the Peshawar-Kabul road. So intense was 
the indignation of the Mullas against the abolition of the 
purdah and the education of girls on European lines that 
they openly denounced Amanulla as a Kafir. 

The Rise of Habibulla, "the Child of the Water-Carrier". 
In the district of Kuhistan to the north of Kabul, a 
brigand, known as Bacha-i-Sakau or " Child of the Water- 
Carrier ", had gained considerable wealth and had 
collected a powerful band of robbers by blackmailing 
caravans moving between the Oxus and Kabul. Realizing 
the unpopularity which Amanulla had excited, not only 
by the taxes which he had levied to finance his tour, 
but also by his reforms, Habibulla, who was perhaps 
encouraged by a Mullahs prophecy that he would be 
King, gradually conceived the idea of driving out Ama- 
nulla and reigning in his stead. Every day the position 
at Kabul deteriorated. The Mullas denounced the King as 
a madman; tax-collectors who tried to wring fresh taxes 
from the people were murdered ; and there was a general 
drying up of financial resources, together with an almost 
complete cessation of trade. 

Habibulla attacks Kabul. Habibulla collected 2000 


men and commenced his attack on Kabul by incessant 
sniping at night with the idea of alarming its citizens. 
Amanulla had despatched a strong force under Abdul 
Ali Jan to subdue the Shinwaris, and the capital was 
weakly held, while the feeling of the city was hostile to its 
King. News reached Kabul that the royal troops had 
been defeated by the Shinwaris, whereupon Habibulla 
increased his sniping which frightened the merchants 
and shopkeepers, who began to shut their doors and to 
hide their goods. Amanulla used his artillery without 
much ^success against bodies of rebels who made feints 
outside the walls, and at last, Habibulla, who had been 
joined by many of the unpaid soldiers, attacked the 
city in earnest. 

The Abdication. It was in vain that on January 7 
Amanulla published a proclamation by the terms of 
which he cancelled most of his obnoxious reforms. On 
January 14, realizing that his soldiers had deserted him, 
" of his own free will ", as he declared, Amanulla 
abdicated in favour of his elder brother, Inayatulla Khan, 
and escaped by car to Kandahar. 

The Abdication of Inayatulla Khan. The position of 
Inayatulla was an impossible one. Left in the Citadel, 
surrounded by a small body of personal servants, he was 
bombarded by his own artillerymen, who had joined 
Habibulla. Realizing his helplessness, he opened 
negotiations with the brigand chief, who requested Sir 
Francis Humphrys to evacuate King Inayatulla who only 
ruled for three days. He was indeed fortunate to escape 
from a very dangerous position, and was taken in a 
British aeroplane to Peshawar, whence he subsequently 
rejoined Amanulla at Kandahar. 

The Position at the British Legation. The attack on 
Kabul by wild Kuhistanis occasioned serious anxiety in 
Ifidia, anxiety which was fully justified. The Legation 
occupied twenty acres of terraced ground some two miles 
to the west of Kabul, and consisted of scattered buildings. 
It was protected merely by a wall of sun-dried bricks. 
Habibulla had captured two outlying forts of the capital, 
and his men wished to occupy the Legation as an advan- 


tageous position. Humphrys, however, speaking through 
the closed gates, warned the would-be invaders of the 
immunity from attack of all foreign Legations. Thanks 
to his personality and intimate knowledge of the language, 
he averted this danger, but, throughout this period, the 
buildings suffered from shell fire while most of the 
window panes were broken by rifle bullets. The British 
women were thus living in daily risk of their lives, only 
one central building being at all safe. However, they 
bravely carried on. 

The Evacuation of Women and Children. The British 
Government adopted a policy of the strictest neutrality 
between the various claimants for the throne, in which 
category Amanulla was classed. In view of the serious- 
ness of the situation, it was decided to evacuate the 
British women and children. Fortunately the Kabul 
landing-ground was available albeit under fire at 
times and the Royal Air Force supplied a Vickers- 
Victoria machine which was specially constructed for the 
transport of troops, together with escorting aeroplanes. 
After carrying the British to safety, members of the 
foreign colony were evacuated; the Russian colony also 
proceeded to Tashkent by air. It is to the credit of 
Habibulla, who wished to stand well with the British, 
that, on more than one occasion, his men guarded the 
aerodrome, while the Vickers-Victoria was loading up 
and carrying off the refugees. 

" The Child of the Water-Carrier " proclaims himself 
Amir. Habibulla entered Kabul as a victor with his 
following of bandits. Reaching the Citadel within a few 
minutes of the departure of Inayatulla, he issued a formal 
notice of his assumption of sovereignty under the title of 
Amir Habibulla, Ghdzi and demanded written guarantees 
of allegiance from the citizens. 

The Position of Habibulla. The Brigand-Chief heW 
Kabul and the surrounding country but, apart from the 
forces of Amanulla at Kandahar, there was every likeli- 
hood of his rule being disputed. To begin with, he was 
of mean birth and a Tajik peasant. Again, the powerful 
Afghan merchants of Peshawar, who realized that they 


would be ruined under the new regime, were equally 
anxious to end it and, considering Amanulla unacceptable 
to the nation, initiated a search for a leader, who would 
overthrow Habibulla. Meanwhile the new Amir was 
attempting without much success to form an administra- 
tion. He had found the treasury empty and immediately 
resorted to " squeezing " wealthy merchants to secure 
funds, with which to pay his supporters. Supplies were 
very scarce in the city, since there was no confidence 
as to payment being made under the reign of terror which 
was inaugurated. 

The Proclamation of the New Amir. One of Habi- 
bulla's earliest acts consisted of the issue of a proclama- 
tion signed by eighty religious leaders and officials 
declaring that Amanulla's heresies and the obnoxious 
innovations which he had introduced justified his dis- 
missal. The proclamation announced that arrears of 
revenue would be written off, that conscription would be 
abolished, as well as all taxes that were additional to the 
lawful revenue. The new schools were also abolished. 
The proclamation then attacked the abandonment of 
Islamic clothing, especially the turban, the unveiling of 
women, the education of girls and the ex-King's objection 
to growing beards and clipping the middle portion of the 
moustache which was the practice of the Prophet 

Amanulla hoists the Royal Standard at Kandahar, 
January 1929. At this juncture Amanulla, owing to 
the influence of his mother, gained support from the 
Durrani tribesmen, and, once again, proclaimed himself 
King. But the Ghilzais who could put 200,000 men 
into the field held the Ghazni area and were, generally 
speaking, hostile to their hereditary enemies the Durranis. 
They also hoped to secure independence. Again, the 
Afghans admire valour and, apart from the unpopularity 
gained by his reforms, the feeling grew that Amanulla, 
who had abdicated and fled, was not brave enough to lead 
Afghans successfully against the usurper. 

The Evacuation of the British Legation, February 1929. 
In view of the fact that Habibulla only controlled the 


capital and its vicinity and that conditions in Afghanistan 
were chaotic, it was decided to withdraw the British 
Minister and his staff. The last to leave was the gallant 
Humphrys, who bore with him the British flag which 
he had kept flying with such courage. The King heartily 
congratulated Humphrys on his safe return. His 
Majesty also congratulated the Royal Air Force on the 
great feat which it had performed. In eighty-two flights, 
carried out with consummate skill over snow-clad ranges, 
in the depth of winter, and in a country practically ^devoid 
of landing grounds, British flying officers had evacuated 
580 passengers of many nationalities without a single 

The Last Attempt of Amanulla. In the early spring of 
1929 Amanulla, who, as mentioned above, had won the 
support of the Durrani tribe, despatched an advance 
guard 1000 strong to Kalat-i-Ghilzai. Early in April 
his main body, 4000 strong, which included regular 
troops, was reported to have reached Shah Jui, situated 
between Kalat-i-Ghilzai and Ghazni. According to fairly 
reliable statements the royal troops, supported by a large 
contingent of Wardaks, had inflicted considerable losses 
on the opposing Sulayman Khel section of the Ghilzai 
tribe and were about to enter Ghazni. However, fear of 
treachery by members of his staff, who were alleged to be 
plotting to lure their master into Ghazni and then to 
leave him to the tender mercies of Bacha Sokau, caused 
Amanulla to throw up the sponge. Whatever the facts 
may have been, he retired to Kalat-i-Ghilzai preparatory 
to fleeing the country. Reaching the outskirts of 
Kandahar in the small hours of the morning, where he 
was joined by the Queen and Inayatulla, and travelling 
rapidly, the party, numbering seventy persons, arrived at 
Chaman at noon on May 23. 

Amanulla leaves India. A special train was speedily 
provided for the Afghan refugees and Bombay was 
reached on May 27. There Amanulla, who had received 
a gracious message from the Viceroy while on the journey, 
remained some weeks for urgent domestic reasons. Mean- 
while, the task of disposing of the various members of the 


party was a delicate one, but was carried through success- 
fully. There were difficulties raised in the case of 
Inayatulla, but Persian visas were finally secured for 
him and his party, which proceeded up the Persian Gulf 
bound for Tehran, while the other Sirdars went in 
different directions. Finally, on June 22, 1929, the 
ex-King and his reduced party sailed for Europe. 

Summary. It is not difficult to analyse the causes of 
King Amanulla's failure. He must have been badly 
served by his ministers, but, even so, to force schemes 
of refoVm on conservative tribesmen without the support 
of a well-disciplined and well-paid army made disaster 
certain, not only for himself but for Afghanistan. While 
reigning he showed no fear in mixing with the wild, 
treacherous tribesmen, but, as a leader in the field, he 
lacked coolness and decision. He had certainly not 
inherited the staunchness of his grandfather and father. 
At the bar of history he stands condemned for having 
brought upon Afghanistan the scourge of the " Water- 
Carrier's Son ". Yet, in his defence, it may be pleaded 
that many of the reforms for which he lost his throne 
were desirable and will in the future gradually be carried 



Afghanistan affords an interesting contrast between the extremes of feudalism 
and democracy as represented by the tribesmen and townsfolk. The Govern- 
ment is an autocracy vested in the hands of one family. It is beneficent so far 
as the country is concerned, but ruthless with regard to its political opponents. 
And there is a gap of a thousand years between the point of view of the officials, 
many of them young intellectuals educated abroad, responsible for the modernisa- 
tion of the cities, and that of the tent-dwelling nomads, unchanged since the 
days of Alexander or Genghiz Khan. ROSITA FORBES. 

Alt Ahmad Jan and Jalalabad. In the last chapter 
the flight of Amanulla, that of his brother Inayatulla and 
the occupation of Kabul by Habibulla, " the Son of the 
Water-Carrier ", have been described. 

Two days later Ali Ahmad Jan, the brother of Uliya 
Hazrat) who had been in command of a force that had 
been despatched to quell the rebellion of the Shinwaris, 
proclaimed himself Amir of the Eastern Province but, 
early in February 1929, his force was attacked and 
defeated at Jagdalak by these tribesmen and the Khugi- 
anis. So complete was the defeat that Ali Ahmad Jan 
became a refugee, and, arriving at Peshawar at the end 
of the month, proceeded to join Amanulla at Kandahar. 
Jalalabad, meanwhile, had been looted by the tribesmen 
and the explosion of a magazine added materially to the 
destruction of this ill-starred city. 

The Success of Habibulla. We now turn to the 
usurper, who, having secured funds from the wealthier 
inhabitants by means of cruel tortures, recruited some 
ten thousand men, mainly from his native Kuhistan. 
With this force he was able to deal with the Hazaras to 
the south-west, who were always hostile to him, and to 
defeat the Tagavis to the south with heavy losses. 



Nadir Khan appears in Afghanistan. Nadir Khan, 
the future King, was recovering from an attack of 
pleurisy at Nice when he heard of the capture of Kabul 
by the brigand Bacha-i-Sakau. Carried on board the 
P. & O. steamer on a stretcher, he reached Peshawar on 
February 28. He decided to proceed to Khost, where 
he had commanded the force which, as we know, had be- 
sieged Thai. Two of his brothers accompanied him, while 
a third, Muhammad Hashim, proceeded to the vicinity 
of Jalalabad to raise the tribes in that neighbourhood. 

T/le General Position. Nadir's reception in Khost 
was most disappointing, owing to tribal jealousies. 
Accordingly, he travelled to the outskirts of Gardez, 
where he opened negotiations with the Ghilzais, the 
Mangals and the Jajis. The general feeling among the 
fighting races was anger that a despised Tajik y or peasant, 
should usurp the throne. On the other hand the tribes- 
men much enjoyed looting and reviving ancient feuds. 
Treachery was everywhere, and Ghaus-ud-din, the Chief 
of the Ahmadzai Ghilzais, who had declared himself 
Amir of Ghazni, was playing a double game. By the 
flight of Amanulla the contest had become a straight 
fight between Habibulla and Nadir Khan. Habibulla, 
who occupied a central position with all its advantages, 
could rely mainly upon the districts to the north of 
Kabul ; he was also supported by the tribesmen of Khost 
and by various sections of the other tribes, many of 
whom had, however, joined Nadir. 

The Hazaras, as adherents of Amanulla, were always 
hostile to him. In the northern provinces Gholam Nabi 
Khan, a son of Ghulam Haidar, Cherkhi, the Commander- 
in-Chief of Amir Abdur Rahman and " The Red Chief " 
of Kipling, 1 who was a supporter of Amanulla, had 
crossed the Oxus, and with a force of Turkoman and 
Uzbegs, which he had raised in Russian territory, had 
captured Mazar-i-Sharif ; he had also engaged a force of 
Habibulla's adherents near Tashkurgan. However, upon 
hearing of Amanulla's flight, he had retired across the 

" Ballad of the King's Jest." 


The Defeats of Nadir Khan. Nadir Khan, at first, 
had no luck. He engaged the Kabul forces at Baraki, 
but was defeated by the treachery of Ghaus-ud-din, who 
attacked his rear and compelled him to retire to the 
Mongol country. Patiently reorganizing his force, he 
failed to hold Gardez, which was captured on June 26. 
Again, on July 10, his second offensive in the Logar 
Valley was defeated. 

At this period Habibulla felt strong enough to 
despatch troops who occupied Kandahar. The irrepres- 
sible Ali Ahmad Jan, who had hoisted his flag in that 
city on the flight of Amanulla, was seized and taken 
prisoner to Kabul. There savage Habibulla nailed his 
arms and feet to the ground and then drove a nail 
through his head from temple to temple. 

The Propaganda of Nadir Khan. Many men would 
have thrown up the sponge at these repeated reverses, 
but Nadir, in spite of his bad health, remained undis- 
mayed. He knew his fellow-countrymen. In July he 
was able to publish a weekly paper aptly named Islah, or 
" Peace ", with the result that his appeals gradually pro- 
duced their effect on the Kabul Khel Wazirs, and these 
doughty fighters of the North- West Frontier decided to 
send a lashkar to his aid, as did also the Mohmands. 

The Third Offensive. Late in August 1929 Nadir 
Khan launched his third offensive and, on the 2 9th, 
captured Gardez, taking 600 prisoners and a quantity 
of arms and ammunition. This constituted his first 
important success. Almost simultaneously the Hazaras 
defeated Habibulla in two engagements at Sirchashma, 
situated only thirty miles north of Kabul, while it was 
reported that the Bandit Amir was making axes for his 
troops, a significant proof of a shortage of rifles. 

The Defeat of Ha shim Khan. The usurper, however, 
was not yet beaten, and, in September, he despatched '& 
column of 2000 men with guns which defeated Hashim 
Khan, who took refuge at Parachinar in the Kurram 
Valley. An attempt made by the Kabul usurper to disarm 
the tribes excited intense hostility, which spread far and 
wide, while, about this period Durrani tribesmen occupied 


Kandahar city without encountering much opposition, 
but did not capture the citadel. 

The Final Offensive. On September 18 the Wazir 
lashkar, which played the leading part in the third act of 
the drama, joined Nadir Khan's forces at Ali Khel and, 
marching on Kabul through the Logar Valley, reached 
the historical battlefield of Charasia on October 6. There 
the final battle was fought. Habibulla's troops were 
entrenched in this very strong position but, deceived by 
a feigned flight of the attackers, they left their trenches 
and pursued them. The Wazirs, delighted at the 
success of their ruse, suddenly turned round and, carry- 
ing all before them, captured the position and drove the 
enemy into headlong flight. At this juncture Sirdar 
Shahwali, who was in command, received reinforcements, 
and, on October 10, Kabul city was captured. Three 
days later, after a bombardment, the citadel was also 

Nadir Khan proclaimed King. Nadir Khan entered 
Kabul as a victor. He was received with enthusiasm 
and was urged to accept the sovereignty, but at first 
declined to do so. In the event, the cry of the tribesmen 
that they would immediately disperse to their homes if 
he persisted in his refusal turned the scales. In this 
manner Nadir Khan ascended the throne of Afghanistan. 

The Capture and Execution of Habibulla. Habibulla, 
who had escaped from the citadel, was hotly pursued, 
but effectually delayed his pursuers by scattering handfuls 
of English sovereigns. Having reached his native wilds 
of the Kuhistan, he decided that his Commander-in-Chief 
should surrender to Nadir Shah and make terms with 
him for them both. However, with true Afghan 
suspicion, he feared that his envoy would make terms 
for himself only. He accordingly followed on his heels, 
surrendered and was promised his life by Nadir Shah. 
The tribesmen, however, were furious at this leniency 
being extended to the bandit who had wrought so much 
harm to Afghanistan and, since Habibulla was proved to 
have set his prison on fire, hoping to escape once again, 
he was condemned to death, as were his chief followers, 



by the National Assembly. The miscreants were shot 
and each tribesman fired a bullet into the corpse of 
Habibulla so as to be able to boast, " I helped to kill 
the Bacha-i-Sakau ". 

The Early Career of King Nadir Shah. In Chapter L 
a brief account is given of the Musahiban family, as it was 
termed, and it was shown that the new King was descended 
from both of the ruling branches of the Durrani tribe. 
Born at Dehra Dun on April 9, 1 883, he was educated in 
that town and learned English, Arabic and Urdu. In 
1 900 his grandfather, Sirdar Yahya Khan, obtained per- 
mission for the family to return to Afghanistan, where, in 
1903, Nadir Khan was appointed to command a regiment 
of Household Cavalry and was promoted general a year 
or two later. He accompanied King Habibulla to 
India. His position after the assassination of that 
monarch and his actions as a general in the Third Afghan 
War have been already recorded. He continued to be a 
leading personage at Kabul under Amanulla until, owing 
to his opposition to the injudicious haste that that ruler 
displayed in his reforms, he fell out of favour and retired 
to the post of Afghan Minister at Paris. This appoint- 
ment he resigned owing to illness, which did not, how- 
ever, prevent him from responding to the trumpet-call 
of duty. 

The Reopening of the British Legation. In May 1930 
Mr. (now Sir Richard) Maconachie, the new British 
Minister, reached Kabul and shortly afterwards the 
Anglo-Afghan Treaty of 1921 was reaffirmed. 

Local Risings in 1930. As was only to be expected, 
there were some local risings against the new government. 
In February the hotheads among the Shinwaris revolted 
in favour of Amanulla, but, unsupported by the elders of 
the tribe, the movement was promptly suppressed. In 
July the misguided Kuhistanis, led by an uncle of the 
late Bandit Amir, also rose in rebellion. Thousands 
of these wild people took part in it, some 3000 of 
whom were captured and eleven of the ringleaders were 

The North- West Frontier Province. At this point a 


brief reference to the sinister activities of some Moslem 
inhabitants of this area, who are termed Red Shirts, is 
desirable. Their moving spirits were Abdul Ghaffar and 
his brother Khan Sahib, sons of a landowner on the 
Peshawar border. Both brothers were educated at the 
Church Missionary Society School at Peshawar. Khan 
Sahib also took a medical degree at Edinburgh and, at 
one time, was medical officer of the Guides. Their sister 
married the Haji of Turangzai, a notable firebrand. 

Abdul Ghaffar in 1919 started a violent agitation 
against the Rowlatt Act, and, but for the defeat of the 
Afghans in the Khaibar Pass, the trouble would have been 
serious. Later, the brothers joined the Congress party 
and organised an unscrupulous campaign of hatred and 
vituperation against the British Raj. 

In 1930 this occasioned the most serious crisis with 
which the British authorities had been faced since I897. 1 
The Peshawar district was invaded with extraordinary 
rapidity from the west by large numbers of Afridis and 
threatened on the north by Mohmand and Utman Khel 
lashkars. Elsewhere, too, as in the Tochi Valley and 
Southern Waziristan, posts were attacked, while attempts 
were made by hostile Mullas to raise Mohmand and 
Bajaur lashkars. The Kurram Valley was also invaded. 

Winning the votes of the unsophisticated tribesmen 
by fantastic promises, Khan Sahib defeated the Ministry 
of the later Sir Abdul Qaiyum in September 1937 by 
a narrow majority, and was Chief Minister until the 
Congress Government resigned towards the close of 1939 
under orders of the Congress Working Committee. It is 
obvious that the disturbances caused by the mischievous 
activities of the Red Shirts must have reacted unfavour- 
ably on our position in Afghanistan. It is, however, 
satisfactory to know that the Afghan Government dis- 
couraged the movement, while the Afghans, generally 
speaking, disapproved of the alliance between Moslem 
Red Shirts and " the idolaters ", as they termed the 

1 I have consulted North- West Frontier Province Border Administration Report for 


A Soviet- Afghan Treaty. In July 1931 a new treaty 
of neutrality and non-aggression between Russia and 
Afghanistan was negotiated. By its terms each Govern- 
ment undertook not to tolerate the existence in its 
territory of organizations or of individuals pursuing 
objectives which were hostile to the other. The treaty 
was to run for five years and included the neutrality of 
the one Power if the other Power were involved in war. 

The Position in 1931. It is interesting to note the 
steady progress made under Nadir Shah's beneficent 
rule. Shah Mahmud Khan, the Minister for War* after 
a campaign in the northern provinces, which involved 
much fighting, had subdued the lawless elements. He 
also had driven Ibrahim Beg, the " Robin Hood " of 
Bukhara, across the Oxus into the arms of the Soviet 
troops. Ibrahim Beg had been one of Enver Pasha's 

Peace thus reigned throughout Afghanistan, and the 
steady improvement of communications made for stability 
of government in this mountainous country. Nadir Shah 
was careful to restore to the Mullas their privileges and 
had rescinded the secularization of the laws and the aboli- 
tion of purdah, the two changes which had most embittered 
them. He felt the necessity for reforms, but realized the 
fundamental importance of " hastening slowly ". 

Foreigners at Kabul, apart from members of the 
various Legations, were few in number. Russia main- 
tained an efficient weekly air service between Termez and 
Kabul and part of the mechanical staff of the Afghan air 
force was Russian, but, generally speaking, foreigners 
were not encouraged to reside in Afghanistan, nor to 
visit it, except for purposes which were approved of. 
The number of Europeans was estimated at seventy and 
included French archaeologists, a German Director of 
Posts and two Italian officers employed in the Artillery 

The Declaration of Policy. On November 27, 1932, 
King Nadir Shah published a declaration of policy in 
ten points ; first, the foundation of the Government upon 
the principles of the law of Islam; second, the absolute 


prohibition of alcoholic beverages; third, the establish- 
ment of a military school and of an arsenal for the manu- 
facture of modern weapons ; fourth, the maintenance of 
the diplomatic relations established by King Amanulla with 
foreign powers. Other measures included the repair of 
telegraphs and telephones and the reconditioning of 
roads ; the collection of all arrears of public revenue; 
the development of commercial relations with foreign 
powers; the advancement of public instruction; and 
finally, the reconstruction of the old Council of State and 
the appointment of a Prime Minister who would form a 
Cabinet, subject to the royal approval. The Cabinet 
which was formed consisted of Shah Wali Khan as Prime 
Minister, with Shah Mahmud Khan as War Minister. 
A Minister of the Interior and a Foreign Minister were 
also appointed. 

The Support of the leading Mulla of the Ghilzai Tribe. 
King Nadir was especially fortunate in securing the 
strong support of the Hazrat Sahib of Shorbazar, the 
leading Mulla of the Ghilzai tribe and the brother of 
Shir Aza, his staunch supporter. In a speech he made 
to Afghan students this divine exhorted them to study 
the occidental as well as the oriental sciences on the 
ground that " all sciences are useful, being light from the 
lights of Allah ". Furthermore, he exhorted them to study 
foreign languages in order to equip themselves for frus- 
trating the knavish tricks of foreign enemies. It would 
seem that these statesmanlike exhortations proved that 
the Hazrat Sahib had realized that this was the only 
means for Moslem Afghanistan to regain and to retain 
economic and political independence. It was perhaps 
the most important pronouncement ever made by an 
Afghan divine, who must have fully realized the danger 
he ran of being assassinated by his fanatical fellow- 

The World Disarmament Conference^ 1932. During 
this year a great effort was made to secure disarmament, 
which is dealt with at length in the Survey of International 
Affairs. In voting on a resolution putting it on record 
that practically all the nations of the world were firmly 


determined to adopt measures for the substantial reduction 
of armaments, the vote was adopted by forty-one votes to 
two, with eight abstentions. The two votes against 
adoption were those of Germany and the U.S.S.R., while 
Afghanistan and Turkey figured among the abstaining 



Master of Masters, O Maker of heroes! 

Clean -slicing, swift-finishing, 

Making death beautiful, 

Life but a coin to be staked in the pastime, 

Whose issue is more than the transfer of being 

I am the will of God, 

I am the Sword. 


The Plot of Gholam Nabi Khan, 1932. When the 
revolution led by the brigand Habibulla broke out 
Gholam Nabi Khan, as mentioned in the previous 
chapter, acting in the interests of Amanulla, captured 
Mazar-i-Sharif, but upon hearing of the abdication of 
that monarch he had retired across the Oxus. After 
the accession of Nadir Shah, Gholam Nabi, tendering 
his submission, returned to Afghanistan. Proofs were, 
however, shortly forthcoming that, aided by Soviet 
agents, he was conspiring with Ghilzai, Durrani and 
other tribesmen for the restoration to the throne of 
Amanulla. Confronted by Nadir Shah with the proofs 
of his guilt, Gholam Nabi made no attempt to justify his 
treasonable conduct and was summarily executed. On 
the following day the General Assembly approved of 
this act of justice, which had taken place on November 8, 

The Assassination of King Nadir Shah, November 8, 
1933. The new order in Afghanistan was not destined % 
to be established without three tragedies. The first was 
the murder at Berlin in July, 1933, of Aziz Khan, an 
elder brother of the King, who was Afghan Minister, 
The assassin was a member of a body of Afghan students 



who were drug addicts. Upon his arrest he declared that 
his action constituted a protest against the British being 
permitted to take control of the tribes of the North- West 
Frontier. In the same year another member of the same 
body, after failing to reach the British Minister, murdered 
the Mir Munshi and an English chauffeur. The third 
tragedy was by far the most serious. On that November 
day King Nadir Shah was attacked by some of his own 
trusted servants just outside the royal harem. The 
assassins shot him three times and then despatched him 
with daggers. The cause of this murder was revenge 
for the execution of Gholam Nabi, the chief assassin 
being the son of one of that traitor's servants. He struck 
exactly one year after the death of Gholam Nabi. 

Thus fell King Nadir Shah, who ranks among the 
greatest rulers of Afghanistan. Without money or 
following, and suffering from very bad health, by sheer 
force of personality and courage, he had rescued his 
country, which was groaning under the tyranny of a 
cruel usurper, and had thereby saved it from a period of 
anarchy that might well have lasted for a generation. On 
ascending the throne, by a blend of firmness, tact and 
kindness he had succeeded in bestowing the priceless gift 
of peace on Afghanistan and had laid anew the foundations 
of national unity. 

The Accession of King Zahir Shah. It speaks well for 
the stability of the Government created by the murdered 
King and for the capacity and loyalty of Sirdar Hashim 
Khan and his brothers, that King Nadir's son, Zahir 
Shah, was immediately proclaimed King. It was hardly 
to be expected that there would be no disturbances. In 
Khost the " Crazy Mulla ", as he was termed, predicting 
the speedy arrival of Amanulla on an aeroplane, collected 
a following, which was joined by some Wazirs. How- 
ever, the Afghan troops stationed at Matun gained a 
victory over the insurgents, and the attitude of the 
British authorities, who sternly forbade their own tribesmen 
from taking part in the rising, ended what might have 
developed into a serious situation. The Press showed 
grave doubts as to the stability of the position of Zahir 


Shah, but these forebodings were happily falsified. 

King Muhammand Zahir Shah, The son of King 
Nadir Shah, who ascended the throne under such tragical 
circumstances, was born in 1914 and accompanied his 
father to France at the age of ten. There he studied for 
six years and learned French well ; he also speaks English. 
Returning to Afghanistan in 1930, in the following year 
he married Princess Umaira, the daughter of his uncle 
Sirdar Ahmad Shah, and the union has been blessed by 
the birth of two sons and two daughters. In this year he 
attended the Military College at Kabul and, in 1932, was 
appointed Assistant War Minister. 

Zahir Shah has clearly inherited his father's ability, 
as is proved by the keen interest he takes in his army 
and, more especially, in his air force. In short, he is 
essentially a virile Afghan, devoted to manly sports. 
Under the guidance of his uncle, the able Sirdar Hashim 
Khan, His Majesty is studying the intricate problems 
with which Afghanistan is faced and is winning golden 
opinions by the courtesy of his manners, alike to the rich 
and to the poor. 

The Afghan Constitution. The Government is a con- 
stitutional monarchy, supreme legislative power being 
invested in the King, the Senate and the National 
Assembly, who constitute the Parliament. 1 The Senate 
consists of 45 members, nominated for life by the 
King, while the 109 members of the National Assembly 
are elected. The ancient Loe Jirgah or " National 
Assembly " is summoned at irregular intervals to discuss 
national questions of especial importance that are re- 
ferred to it by the King. The Government includes 
departments for War, Foreign Affairs, Internal Affairs, 
Education, Commerce, Justice, Public Works, Revenue, 
Health, Posts and Telegraphs. 

* The Foundation of the National Bank of Afghanistan. 
Upon his accession Nadir Shah was faced with an empty 
treasury. As a result the Afghani or Kabuli rupee 
worth about one-quarter of the Indian rupee began to 
fall sharply and it became an urgent matter to correct 

1 In this section I have consulted The Statesman's Tear-Book. 


the adverse balance of trade which existed. After an 
unsuccessful attempt in 1931, two years later, a National 
Bank was founded to deal with exchange, of which it 
was granted a monopoly, while the commercial side was 
dealt with by the formation of the Ashami (or Joint- 
Stock) Company. To it monopolies were granted which 
covered (a) the import of sugar and petroleum products ; 
() purchases and sales on behalf of Government; and 
(c) exploitation of all mines and the establishment of 
industrial concerns in Afghanistan. 

The Economic Policy of the Government. By vfray of 
preface to the following remarks on the commercial 
policy of the Government, it must be remembered that 
Afghanistan is a poor country which supports an agri- 
cultural and pastoral people, many of whom perforce 
lead a nomadic life. 

The chief export, which is a Government monopoly, 
is the sale of Karakuli lambskins, averaging perhaps one 
million sterling per annum. The second important 
export, which is valued at perhaps one-half of the former, 
is the fruit crop. The fact that the chief article of export 
is distinctly a luxury commodity, depending alike on 
prosperity and on changing fashion, constitutes a distinct 
weakness in the economic system of the country. 

The policy of the Government has been to reduce 
imports by growing cotton and sugar beets, while factories 
have been established for the manufacture of cloth and 
sugar by the Ashami Company. The latest reports on 
this subject, however, tend to show that the Government 
has decided to sell these factories to private capitalists. 
It is to be noted that no luxuries can be imported into 

A second object that the Government has aimed at 
is the elimination of middlemen and the securing of all 
profits for the Afghan Government or the shareholders 
of the Ashami Company. This policy has naturally 
caused much soreness among the influential merchants of 
Peshawar and has many disadvantages. 

O/7. One of the most important imports, since lorries 
are gradually displacing camel transport wherever roads 


have been made, is petrol. In 1937 a concession to 
search for oil over an area covering 270,000 square miles 
in Western Afghanistan was granted to the Inland 
Exploration Company of New York. The existence of 
oil was, I understand, proved, in the Herat area, but 
most unfortunately the small size of the field, the distance 
to the coast of the Arabian Sea, involving the construc- 
tion of an expensive pipe-line, and the insignificant local 
demand for the product, compelled the company to 
relinquish the concession. 

German Mining Concession. In the autumn of 1937 
a company termed " Afghanistan Mines Ltd. " was 
registered under joint German and Afghan management. 
Although minerals probably exist in the country, the 
company met with little or no success and the concession 
has been relinquished. 

To conclude this brief sketch: in December 1938 
the reports show that while exports have been main- 
tained, imports have decreased, with the satisfactory 
result that the year closed with a favourable balance of 
6,119,609 Indian rupees, a result on which the Govern- 
ment may be justly congratulated. 

Modern Afghanistan in the Making. Nadir Shah, 
before his untimely death, had laid the foundations of 
a modern state and thanks mainly to the ability, high 
principles and courage of Sirdar Hashim Khan, and his 
brothers, slow but steady progress in this direction is 
being effected. It has to be remembered that there is 
a deep gulf, which it is difficult to bridge, between an 
Afghan educated in Europe and a tent-dweller or an 
inhabitant of the almost inaccessible mountain valleys. 
Hashim Khan fortunately, while himself a well-educated 
Sirdar^ understands and sympathizes with his country- 
men of every class while they, on their side, realize that 
hfc is a master of men. 

Politically his position is both difficult and delicate, 
since he has to hold the balance between Russian officials 
and the representatives of Great Britain. The Afghans, 
quite naturally, have not forgotten the Third Afghan 
War. At the same time they fear the Soviet Government, 


mistrust its policy and abominate its atheism. 

The Position on the North-West Frontier. Nor is the 
position in relation to the restless fanatical Wazirs and 
their neighbours lacking in delicacy. For generations, as 
we have seen, the Amirs have used the tribes on the 
British side of the frontier as an important card in their 
dealings with that Government, the ex-King Amanulla 
being notorious in this respect. However, under the 
present conditions, with a government which has estab- 
lished law, order and education in Afghanistan, is it not 
reasonable to hope that the tribesmen who are now 
living between two organized areas of civilization may 
gradually give up their passion for feuds and raiding 
and become law-abiding citizens? Recent reports from 
the North- West Frontier tend to show that roads, educa- 
tion and hospitals, together with settled conditions under 
the pax Britannica, are beginning to be appreciated by 
the warlike tribesmen, if only from the commercial point 
of view, as affording access to markets for their crops. 

The Position of Women. As we have seen, Amanulla 
lost his throne, partly owing to his insistence, among 
other reforms, of women, headed by the Queen, throwing 
aside their veils. Today women in the towns are veiled 
as completely as before, in spite of the abolition of the 
veil alike in Turkey and neighbouring Persia, but this 
is not necessarily a permanent state of affairs in Afghan- 
istan, more especially as the nomad women do not follow 
the custom. 

Education^ Roads and Postal Service. Education is 
being energetically but unobtrusively conducted, and is 
gradually producing satisfactory results. English is the 
medium of instruction in higher education. 

Much money is being spent on roads which, if not 
comparable with those of Western Europe, bring the 
chief cities much nearer to one another and, generally 
speaking, are an agency for the spread of civilization. 
The same remark certainly applies to the postal service 
which now runs six days a week between the capital and 
Peshawar and links up all important centres. 

Turkey^ Russia and Afghanistan become Members of 


the League of Nations. When the League of Nations 
came into existence in January 1920 Amanulla was in 
sullen mood after his defeat in the Thfrd Afghan War, 
and took no part in its formation. The passing years, 
however, changed the situation, but for more than a 
decade, following the policy of holding aloof from the 
League favoured by the Soviet Government, neither 
Afghanistan nor Turkey desired membership in it. 

Persia had already joined the League before negotiat- 
ing hjr treaty with Russia in 1921 ; Turkey followed in 
the same year and the Soviet Union, undoubtedly in- 
fluenced by the militant policy of Japan, joined the League 
in September 1934, to be followed a few days later by 

The Four-Power Treaty of Saadabad, 1937. In 1934 
there arose a dispute between Iraq and Persia as to the 
rights of each Power on the Shatt-el-Arab. The tangled 
question came up before the League Council in January 
1935, b ut without result. However, the case was 
subsequently removed from the agenda of the Council 
Meeting and the two Powers came to terms. More than 
this, in the autumn of 1935, preliminary negotiations for 
the formation of a Middle Eastern Pact were under- 
taken on the initiative of Persia, with the strong support 
of Turkey, who feared the ambitions of Italy in the 
Eastern Mediterranean. On July 4, 1937, an Iranian- 
Iraq Agreement, which settled on reasonable terms the 
boundary dispute in the Shatt-el-Arab, was signed, and 
the Four-Power Middle Eastern Pact, termed the 
Treaty of Saadabad, was signed at the " Palace of 
Felicity " (to translate the word), near Tehran, a few 
days later. 

The Pact may be described as one of bon voisinage y 
but is not a military alliance. In it the four Powers also 
reaffirmed their loyalty to the Briand-Kellog Pact and to 
the League Covenant. After the act of signature had 
been performed, a Permanent Council of the Four 
Middle Eastern Powers was set up. The first resolution 
passed in the session which followed was to support the 
candidature of Persia, and then of each other, for election 


to a seat on the Council of the League of Nations. 

Of this important treaty the Istanbul Correspondent 
of The Times writes: J " Its signature will receive general 
approbation, inasmuch as it indicates that these four 
Moslem countries some of them so long strangers or 
enemies one to the other are now desirous of co-operat- 
ing for their mutual benefit ". It remains to add that, 
owing to the treaty of Iraq with Great Britain, and the 
treaty of Turkey with Soviet Russia, the Pact of Saadabad 
was signed with the approval of both the above-pamed 

The Policy of the British Government. In a recent 
speech 2 Lord Zetland, His Majesty's Secretary of State 
for India, made the following statesmanlike declaration: 
" A strong, stable and friendly Afghan administration 
has always been a British interest, and never more so 
perhaps than it is today, and if in the past we sought to 
secure our interests by a measure of control over and by 
granting subsidies to the Government of that country, 
we have now recognized the advantages of securing them 
through the agency of a stable, friendly and independent 
kingdom ; for we are satisfied that the friendship of an 
independent sovereign State is a surer foundation on 
which to rest our common interests than a State subject to 
an uneasy subserviency, irksome to the freedom-loving 
spirit of the Afghan people. That there is a powerful 
bond of common interest between India and Afghanistan 
must be apparent to anyone who considers the geo- 
graphical, the political, and the economic circumstances 
of the two countries. 

" Hence the satisfaction and the sympathy with which 
we have watched the internal progress of the country 
during the past ten years under the wise policy of orderly 
development inaugurated by Nadir Shah and continued 
under the present King with the powerful aid of his 

July 19, 1939. 

2 This pronouncement was made after I had delivered a lecture at the Caxton Hall 
on " Afghanistan : The Present Position " to a joint meeting of the Royal Central Asian 
Society and The East India Association on March 13, 1940, at which Lord Zetland 
presided. It was followed by the tragic murder of Sir Michael O'Dwyer, and the 
wounding of Lord Zetland, Lord Lamington and Sir Louis Dane. 


uncles, Muhammad Hashim, the Prime Minister, Shah 
Mahmud, the Defence Minister, who visited us here 
in London in 1937 and 1936 respectively, and Shah 
Wali, who was King Nadir's first representative at the 
Court of St. James. . . . The two countries have like- 
wise a common interest in the maintenance of peace in 
the tribal areas which lie between their respective 
boundaries, and when, as unhappily sometimes occurs, 
we are driven by the lawlessness of the tribes to embark 
upon^military action against them, we always bear closely 
in mind the possible repercussions of any action which 
we may have in mind upon the tribes upon the Afghan 
side of the border and upon the interests, consequently, 
of the Afghan regime." 

The Strategical Position of Afghanistan. Before con- 
cluding this work it seems desirable to make a few 
remarks on the strategical situation of the country. The 
Afghan army is recruited by a mixture of compulsory 
service for two years and of voluntary service for life. 
Officers are recruited for life. The peace strength of 
the army is 60,000, but its armed tribesmen, who may 
be half a million strong, constitute a formidable second 
line. Mechanized transport has been introduced to 
some extent, and a small air force has been established. 
It is clear that Russia alone is her potential enemy, and 
will be treated as such. Kabul, the capital, is protected 
from invasion by the U.S.S.R. owing to the lofty and 
rugged double range of the Hindu Kush. But Badakh- 
shan and her other provinces in the Oxus Valley could 
not be effectually held against large Russian forces that 
the railway could transport to Termez, more especially 
as no reinforcements could be sent from Kabul during 
the winter months. Again, Russia, from the Trans- 
Caspian Railway (which runs from that sea to the main 
northern line), constructed a strategical branch line from 
Merv to New Kushk, which is situated only some eighty 
miles from Herat, with no intervening physical barrier, 
and Herat could hardly offer a long resistance to Russian 
heavy artillery. From Herat to Kandahar is some 200 
miles by the caravan route via Sabzawar and Farah. The 


country to be crossed presents few physical difficulties 
and is suitable for tanks, whippets, and lorries, albeit the 
roads are little more than tracks in most cases. If Persia 
were allied to Afghanistan, she might be able to attack 
the Russian lines of communication to some small extent. 

We now take the other side of the situation. From 
the days of the Moghul Empire, Kabul and Kandahar 
have been held to be the Keys of India, and I should not 
envy the position of a Russian army which could only 
be supplied by a single-track railway from an immense 
distance, whether we reckon from Moscow via Oren- 
burg and Bukhara or via the Caucasus and the Caspian 
Sea ; the distance in both cases is about 2,200 miles. I 
have travelled along both these routes on more than one 
occasion, and was struck by the lack of towns of any 
importance and of commercial activity throughout. The 
recently built town of Magnitogorodsk in the Ural 
Mountains, with its rich iron mines, will, however, have 
improved the Russian position to some extent. There 
is also the recent but badly constructed Turk-Sib railway, 
which runs from the Trans-Siberian railway at Novo- 
sibirsk to a junction between Pishpok (Frunze) and the 
Sir Daria, not far from Tashkent. But the whole province 
of Russian Turkistan is now devoted to growing cotton, 
and food supplies for a large force would be unobtainable. 

It would, then, seem to be unwise for Russia to 
attempt to invade India across Afghanistan, as she would 
presumably be met on the Kabul-Kandahar line by 
Afghan troops, firmly supported by British troops hold- 
ing a strong position. Moreover, her lines of com- 
munication would be repeatedly attacked by the tribes on 
her flanks. On the other hand, Russia might be tempted 
to occupy Afghan-Turkistan in the Oxus Valley or even 
the Herat province. Yet to hold these conquests would 
need large forces, which it would be difficult to keep in 
the field. 

To conclude this brief sketch, modern mechanized 
warfare requires enormous supplies of ammunition, of 
petrol and of innumerable other requisites. These 
cannot be furnished without double railway tracks, large 


commercial centres in close proximity and rich corn lands, 
all of which are lacking in the vicinity of Northern 
Afghanistan. Consequently a Russian attempt to invade 
India across Afghanistan, more especially in view of the 
proved weakness of her army, would, in my opinion, be 
doomed to disastrous failure. 


In concluding this work I would quote wise Doctor 
Johnson, who remarked: " Courage is reckoned the 
greatest of all virtues, because, unless a man has that 
virtue, he has no security for preserving any other ". By 
a happy coincidence Abdur Rahman Khan, that truly 
great Amir who reunited all the provinces of Afghanistan 
under his sway, once remarked to Sir Mortimer Durand 
that all the virtues could be grafted on the stock of 
courage, without which no nation could prosper. I 
have been in touch with Afghans for many years and 
I have especially admired their outstanding virility. I 
can therefore, with full confidence in its realization, 
wish Afghanistan a prosperous future. 




SIMLAH, October i, 1838. 

Th<* Right Hon. the Governor-General of India having, with 
the concurrence of the Supreme Council, directed the assemblage 
of a British force for service across the Indus, his Lordship deems 
it proper to publish the following exposition of the reasons which 
have led to this important measure. 

It is a matter of notoriety that the treaties entered into by the 
British Government in the year 1832, with the Ameers of Sindh, 
the Newab of Bhawalpore, and Maharajah Runjeet Singh, had 
for their object, by opening the navigation of the Indus, to facilitate 
the extension of commerce, and to gain for the British nation in 
Central Asia that legitimate influence which an interchange of 
benefits would naturally produce. 

With a view to invite the aid of the de facto rulers of Afghan- 
istan to the measures necessary for giving full effect to those treaties, 
Captain Burnes was deputed, towards the close of the year 1836, 
on a mission to Dost Mahomed Khan, the chief of Caubul. The 
original objects of that officer's mission were purely of a commercial 
nature. Whilst Captain Burnes, however, was on his journey to 
Caubul, information was received by the Governor-General that 
the troops of Dost Mahomed Khan had made a sudden and un- 
provoked attack on those of our ancient ally, Maharajah Runjeet 
Singh. It was naturally to be apprehended that his Highness the 
Maharajah would not be slow to avenge the aggression; and it 
was to be feared that, the flames of war being once kindled in the 
very regions into which we were endeavouring to extend our 
commerce, the peaceful and beneficial purposes of the British 
Government would be altogether frustrated. In order to avert a 
result so calamitous, the Governor-General resolved on authorizing 
Gfptain Burnes to intimate to Dost Mahomed Khan, that if he 
should evince a disposition to come to just and reasonable terms 
with the Maharajah, his Lordship would exert his good offices 
with his Highness for the restoration of an amicable understanding 
between the two powers. The Maharajah, with the characteristic 
confidence which he has uniformly placed in the faith and friend- 
ship of the British nation, at once assented to the proposition of the 



Governor-General, to the effect that, in the meantime, hostilities 
on his part should be suspended. 

It subsequently came to the knowledge of the Governor- 
General that a Persian army was besieging Herat; that intrigues 
were actively prosecuted throughout Afghanistan, for the purpose 
of extending Persian influence and authority to the banks of, and 
even beyond, the Indus; and that the Court of Persia had not 
only commenced a course of injury and insult to the officers of 
her Majesty's Mission in the Persian territory, but had afforded 
evidence of being engaged in designs wholly at variance with the 
principles and objects of its alliance with Great Britain. 

After much time spent by Captain Burnes in fruitless negotia- 
tion at Caubul, it appeared that Dost Mahomed Khan, chiefly in 
consequence of his reliance upon Persian encouragement and 
assistance, persisted, as respected his misunderstanding with the 
Sikhs, in urging the most unreasonable pretensions, such as the 
Governor-General could not, consistently with justice and his 
regard for the friendship of Maharajah Runjeet Singh, be the 
channel of submitting to the consideration of his Highness; that 
he avowed schemes of aggrandisement and ambition injurious to 
the security and peace of the frontiers of India; and that he 
openly threatened, "in furtherance of those schemes, to call in 
every foreign aid which he could command. Ultimately he gave 
his undisguised support to the Persian designs in Afghanistan, of 
the unfriendly and injurious character of which, as concerned the 
British power in India, he was well apprised, and by his utter 
disregard of the views and interests of the British Government, 
compelled Captain Burnes to leave Caubul without having effected 
any of the objects of his mission. 

It was now evident that no further interference could be 
exercised by the British Government to bring about a good under- 
standing between the Sikh ruler and Dost Mahomed Khan, and 
the hostile policy of the latter chief showed too plainly that, so 
long as Caubul remained under his government, we could never 
hope that the tranquillity of our neighbourhood would be secured, 
or that the interests of our Indian Empire would be preserved 

The Governor-General deems it in this place necessary to 
revert to the siege of Herat and the conduct of the Persian nation. 
The siege of that city has now been carried on by the Persian arAiy 
for many months. The attack upon it was a most unjustifiable 
and cruel aggression, perpetrated and continued, notwithstanding 
the solemn and repeated remonstrances of the British Envoy at 
the Court of Persia, and after every just and becoming offer of 
accommodation had been made and rejected. The besieged have 
behaved with a gallantry and fortitude worthy of the justice of 


their cause; and the Governor-General would yet indulge the 
hope that their heroism may enable them to maintain a successful 
defence, until succours shall reach them from British India. In 
the meantime, the ulterior designs of Persia, affecting the interests 
of the British Government, have been, by a succession of events, 
more and more openly manifested. The Governor-General has 
recently ascertained by an official despatch from Mr. M'Neill, Her 
Majesty's Envoy, that his Excellency has been compelled, by a 
refusal of his just demands, and by a systematic course of disrespect 
adopted towards him by the Persian Government, to quit the 
Court of the Shah, and to make a public declaration of the cessa- 
tion of* all intercourse between the two Governments. The 
necessity under which Great Britain is placed of regarding the 
present advance of the Persian arms into Afghanistan as an act 
of hostility towards herself, has also been officially communicated 
to the Shah, under the express order of her Majesty's Government. 

The Chiefs of Candahar (brothers of Dost Mahomed Khan 
of Caubul) have avowed their adherence to the Persian policy, 
with the same full knowledge of its opposition to the rights and 
interests of the British nation in India, and have been openly 
assisting in the operations against Herat. 

In the crisis of affairs consequent upon the retirement of our 
Envoy from Caubul, the Governor-General felt the importance 
of taking immediate measures for arresting the rapid progress of 
foreign intrigue and aggression towards our own territories. 

His attention was naturally drawn at this conjuncture to the 
position and claims of Shah Soojah-ool-Moolk, a monarch who, 
when in power, had cordially acceded to the measures of united 
resistance to external enmity, which were at that time judged 
necessary by the British Government, and who, on his empire 
being usurped by its present rulers, had found an honourable 
asylum in the British dominions. 

It had been clearly ascertained, from the information furnished 
by the various officers who have visited Afghanistan, that the 
Barukzye chiefs, from their disunion and unpopularity, were ill 
fitted, under any circumstances, to be useful allies to the British 
Government, and to aid us in our just and necessary measures of 
national defence. Yet so long as they refrained from proceedings 
injurious to our interests ana security, the British Government 
acknowledged and respected their authority; but a different policy 
appeared to be now more than justified by the conduct of those 
chiefs, and to be indispensable to our own safety. The welfare of 
our possessions in the East requires that we should have on our 
western frontier an ally who is interested in resisting aggression, 
and establishing tranquillity, in the place of chiefs ranging them- 
selves in subservience to a hostile power, and seeking to promote 


schemes of conquest and aggrandisement. 

After serious and mature deliberation, the Governor-General 
was satisfied that a pressing necessity, as well as every consideration 
of policy and justice, warranted us in espousing the cause of Shah 
Soojah-ool-Moolk, whose popularity throughout Afghanistan had 
been proved to his Lordship by the strong and unanimous testimony 
of the best authorities. Having arrived at this determination, the 
Governor-General was further of opinion that it was just and 
proper, no less from the position of Maharajah Runjeet Singh, 
than from his undeviating friendship towards the British Govern- 
ment, that His Highness should have the offer of becoming a party 
to the contemplated operations. * 

Mr. Macnaghten was accordingly deputed in June last to the 
Court of His Highness, and the result of his mission has been 
the conclusion of a triplicate treaty by the British Government, 
the Maharajah, and Shah Soojah-ool-Moolk, whereby his High- 
ness is guaranteed in his present possessions, and has bound himself 
to co-operate for the restoration of the Shah to the throne of his 
ancestors. The friends and enemies of any one of the contracting 
parties have been declared to be the friends and enemies of all. 

Various points have been adjusted, which had been the sub- 
jects of discussion between the British Government and his High- 
ness the Maharajah, the identity of whose interests with those of 
the Honourable Company has now been made apparent to all the 
surrounding States. A guaranteed independence will, upon favour- 
able conditions, be tendered to the "Ameers of Sindh, and the 
integrity of Herat, in the possession of its present ruler, will be 
fully respected; while by the measures completed, or in progress, 
it may reasonably be hoped that the general freedom and security 
of commerce will be promoted; that the name and just influence 
of the British Government will gain their proper footing among 
the nations of Central Asia; that tranquillity will be established 
upon the most important frontier of India; and that a lasting 
barrier will be raised against hostile intrigue and encroachment. 

His Majesty, Shah Shoojah-ool-Moolk will enter Afghanistan, 
surrounded by his own troops, and will be supported against foreign 
interference and factious opposition by a British army. The 
Governor-General confidently hopes that the Shah will be speedily 
replaced on his throne by his own subjects and adherents; and 
when once he shall be secured in power, and the independence ahd 
integrity of Afghanistan established, the British army will be with- 
drawn. The Governor-General has been led to these measures 
by the duty which is imposed upon him of providing for the 
security of the possessions of the British Crown; but, he rejoices 
that, in the discharge of his duty, he will be enabled to assist in 
restoring the union and prosperity of the Afghan people. Through- 


out the approaching operations, British influence will be sedulously 
employed to further every measure of general benefit, to reconcile 
differences, to secure oblivion of injuries, and to put an end to the 
distractions by which, for so many years, the welfare and happiness 
of the Afghans have been impaired. Even to the chiefs, whose 
hostile proceedings have given just cause of offence to the British 
Government, it will seek to secure liberal and honourable treat- 
ment, on their tendering early submission, and ceasing from 
opposition to that course of measures which may be judged the 
most suitable for the general advantage of their country. 
By order of the Right Hon. Governor-General of India. 


Secretary to the Government of India, 

with the Governor-General 


[The following are translations of the different documents 
referred to in the above-mentioned chapter, marking the cftfferent 
stages of the treaty under which the English evacuated Caubul. 
No. I is the draft of the original treaty which Macnaghten was 
negotiating at the time of his death. The articles, as proposed by 
the Afghan chiefs, are in inverted commas. The observations 
which follow contain the assent of the English representative. 
And the Remarks in brackets are those of the Afghan chiefs; the 
original being in the handwriting of Akbar Khan.] 


Rough Draft of the Treaty with the Assent of the 
English Authorities 

Article I . " There shall be no delay in the departure of the 
English Army." 

Agreed to. They will march twenty-four hours after having 
received a thousand carriage-cattle, which shall be either camels 
or yaboos. 

[Remark. It rests with them (the English); let them pay the 
hire as they may be able.] 

Article 2. " Afghan Sirdars shall accompany the army, to 
prevent any one offering opposition, and to assist in procuring 

It is very advisable. 

[Remark. Sirdar Oosman Khan and Shah Dowlut Khan.] 

Article 3. " The Jellalabad army shall march for Peshawiy 
before the Caubul force starts." 

It is agreed to. Do you name some person who shall accom- 
pany them. 

[Remark. Abdool Ghuffoor Khan.] 

Article 4. " The Ghuznee force, having made their prepara- 
tions, shall speedily march to Peshawur by Caubul." 



It is agreed to. Do you name some proper person to accom- 
pany them. 

[Remark. A relation of the Naib or of Mehtur Moossa.j 

Article 5. " The Candahar force, and all other British troops 
in Afghanistan, shall quickly depart for Hindostan." 

It is agreed. Let proper people accompany them. 

[Remark. Newab Jubbur Khan.] 

Article 6. " The whole of the property of the Ameer (Dost 
Mahomed Khan) which is in the hands of the English Government, 
or of individual officers, shall be left behind." 

It^is agreed to. Whatever is with the public authorities is 
known to you; whatever is with private officers point out and 

Article 7. " Whatever property belonging to the English can- 
not be carried away, shall be taken care of, and sent by the first 

It is agreed to: but we have given over all that remains to the 

[Remark. The guns, ordnance stores, and muskets, must be 
given to me.] 

Article 8. " In case Shah Soojah should wish to remain at 
Caubul, we will give him yearly a subsistence of a lakh of 

It is agreed to. Do whatever you think advisable, wishing to 
show your friendship for us. 

Article 9. " In case the family of Shah Soojah should be left 
behind, from want of carriage-cattle, we will fix the place now 
occupied by them in the Balla Hissar for their dwelling-place, until 
they can depart for Hindostan." 

It is agreed to. The honour of the King is the honour of the 
Douranees; and it is becoming in you. 1 

Article 10. "When the English army arrives at Peshawur, 
arrangements shall be made for the march or Dost Mahomed Khan, 
and all other Afghans, with all their property, families, and 

It is agreed to. They shall all be sent to you with honour and 
in safety. 

4rttcle ii. "When Ameer Dost Mahomed Khan and the 
others arrive safely at Peshawur, then the family of the Shah shall 
be at liberty to depart; that departing they may arrive at the place 
fixed upon." 

It is agreed to. 

1 The 8th and 9th articles are scored out in the original by Akbar Khan, as though, 
on consideration) they were distasteful to him. 


Article 1 2. " Four English gentlemen shall remain as hostages 
in Caubul until Ameer Dost Mahomed Khan and the other 
Afghans shall have arrived at Peshawur, when the English gentle- 
men shall be allowed to depart." 

It is agreed to. 

[Remark. Let there be six hostages.] 

Article 1 3. " Sirdar Mahomed Akbar Khan and Sirdar Oos- 
man Khan shall accompany the English army to Peshawur, and 
take them there in safety." l 

It is agreed to. 

[Remark. Sirdar Mahomed Akbar Khan.J 

Article 14. "After the departure of the English, friendly 
relations shall be continued, i.e., that the Afghan Government, 
without the consent and advice of the English Government, shall 
not form any treaty or connection with a foreign power; and should 
they (the Afghans) ever ask assistance against foreign invasion, the 
English Government will not delay in sending such assistance." 

It is agreed to, as far as we are concerned; but in this matter 
the Governor-General of India alone has authority. We will do 
our best to bring about friendship between the two governments; 
and by the blessing of the Almighty this wish will be obtained, and 
friendship exist for the future. 

Article 15. "Any one who may have assisted Shah Soojah 
and the English, and may wish to accompany them, shall be 
allowed to do so. We will not hinder them. And if they remain 
here, no one will call them to account for what they have done, 
and no one shall molest them under any pretence. They may 
remain in this country like the other inhabitants." 2 

We have interpolated a few words, and it will be friendship if 
you comply with them. 

Article 1 6. "Should any English gentleman unavoidably be 
detained, he shall be treated honourably until such time as he can 
depart." [MS. Records.] 


[The following articles contain the further demands of the 
Afghans advanced after Macnaghten's death. The observations 
immediately following the articles are by the English negotiator^. 
The remarks in brackets by the Afghans.] 

Article I . " Whatever coin there may be in the public treasury 
must be given up." 

1 This article is scored out in the original. 

2 The whole of this article also is scored out. Its provisions seem to have been 
extended, suggestively, by Pottinger, but disapproved by Akbar Khan. 


We have set apart two lakhs of rupees for our expenses to 
Peshawur, which is twenty- four yahoos' loads. If there is more 
than this in the public treasury, either in gold mohurs, ducats, or 
rupees, it is yours. If you do not believe this, send some one to 
note and inspect the loads on the day of our departure. If we 
have said truly, give us a blessing; and if we have spoken falsely, 
it is your property, take it away, and we shall be convicted of 

[Remark. Let them pay the hire of the yaboos and camels.] 

Article 2. " With reference to the remark that was made that 
we should give up all our guns but six, we have with the force 
one and a half companies of artillerymen. You have fixed six 
guns. Half of a company would remain without equipments. 
Be good enough to give three more small guns, such as are drawn 
by mules, for the other half-company. It will be a great kindness." 

[Remark. They cannot be given.] 

Article 3. " The muskets in excess of those in use with the 
regiments must be left behind." 

This is agreed to. Whatever muskets are in addition to those 
in use with the regiments, together with shot and powder and 
other ordnance stores, all by way of friendship shall be the 
property of the Newab. 

Article 4. " General Sale, together with his wife and daughter, 
and the other gentlemen of rank who are married and have children, 
until the arrival of the Ameer Dost Mahomed Khan and the other 
Afghans and their families, and Douranees and Ghilzyes, from 
Hindostan, shall remain as guests with us; that when the Ameer 
Dost Mahomed Khan shall have arrived, they also shall be allowed 
to depart with honour from Afghanistan." 

General Sale is with the army in Jellalabad, the departure of 
which is fixed to take place previous to our arrival; and as for the 
other two or three gentlemen who are married and present here, 
we have sent a man to them. They, having seen their families, 
report that their families will not consent to this proposal; (adding) 
that you men may do as you like no one can order us. This 
proposal is contrary to all order. We now beg you to be good 
enough to excuse the women from this suffering, and we agree to 
give as many gentlemen as you may wish for. In friendship, kind- 
ness and consideration are necessary, not overpowering the weak 
with sufferings. Since, for a long time past, we have shown kind- 
ness and respect to all Afghans of rank and consequence with whom 
we have had dealings, you should consider what we have done for 
them, and not forget Kindness. As Shah Soojah was father of a 
family, and the Ameer Dost Mahomed Khan was with his family, 
and no one gave them annoyance, and we showed them respect, 


you also now show similar kindness, that friendship may be 

[Remark. Let them remain with their families. Let the 
family of the General stop in Caubul, until he himself comes 
from Jellalabad, Sturt with his family, Boyd with his family, 
and Anderson with his family.] 

W. K. ELPHINSTONE, Major-Gen. 1 


[The following is a draft of the new treaty submitted by the 
Afghan chiefs, containing the additional articles, and embodying 
the matter in Akbar Khan's " Remarks ".] 

Agreement of Peace that has been determined on with the Frank 
English gentlemen, to which engagement, if they consent and 
act accordingly y on the part of the heads and leaders of Afghan- 
istan henceforward no Infractions will occur to their friendly 

1st. That the going of the gentlemen shall be speedy. In 
regard to the carriage-cattle, let them send money that they may 
be purchased and sent. 

2nd. As regards the going of the Sirdars with the English 
army that no person may injure it on the way, Sirdar Mahomed 
Akbar Khan or Sirdar Mahomed Oosman Khan, whichever may 
be wished by the English, will be appointed and sent. 

3rd. The army of Jellalabad shall march previous to the army 
of Caubul, and proceed to Peshawur. Sirdar Abdool Suffoor Khan 
having been appointed, will leave this and proceed, that he may 
previously accompany them; secondly, the road of Bhungush has 
been appointed. 

4th. The Ghuznee force having got quickly ready will pro- 
ceed by the road of Caubul to Peshawur. A relative of Naib 
Ameen-oolah Khan, with Mehtur Moosa Khan, has been 
appointed to accompany it. 

5th. The army of Candahar and other parts of Afghanistan, 
wherever an army may be, will quickly depart for India. Newat 
Abdool Jubbar Khan nas been appointed to carry this into effect. 

6th. Whatever property of the Ameer may be with the 
English will be returned, ana nothing retained. 

yth. Whatever property of the English may be left for want 
of carriage will become the property of the Newab. 

1 MS. Records. 


8th, If the family of Shah Soojah, on account of want of 
carriage, may remain here, they will be placed in the house of 
Hadjee Khan. 

9th. Whenever the English army may arrive at Peshawur, 
they will make arrangements for the return of Ameer Dost 
Mahomed Khan, the Afghans and their families, that are in 

I Oth. That the English gentlemen, with their families, will 
be left at Caubul as hostages, until the Ameer Dost Mahomed 
Khan, with the rest of the Afghans and their families, may arrive 
at P^$hawur; or, secondly, that six hostages may be left. 

nth. After the departure of the English there shall be 
perfect friendship between the two states in so much so that the 
Government of Afghanistan, without the advice and approval of 
the British Government, shall enter into no connection or corre- 
spondence with any other power; but if, in its defence, it may 
require the assistance of the English, they will not delay to afford 
it. Should the British Government not consent to this, the Afghans 
are free to make friends with any one they like. 

1 2th. If any gentleman would wish to remain in Caubul, on 
account of his private affairs, he may do so, and will be treated with 
justice and respect. 

1 3th. Whatever cash, whether gold or silver, may be in the 
treasury, shall be paid to Newab Zemaun Khan. A trustworthy 
person will be appointed, who will issue supplies from stage to 
stage as far as Peshawur. 

1 4th. With regard to artillery, six guns have been determined 
on. They are enough. More will not be given. Secondly, the 
three mule guns will be given. 

1 5th. The spare arms shall be given to Newab Mahomed 
Zemaun Khan. 

1 6th. The hostages to be left here, and these persons with 
their families General Sale, Captains Sturt, Boyd, and Anderson. 

iyth. Let General Sale go with the army to Jellalabad, and 
his family remain here; after taking the army to Jellalabad, let 
him return to Caubul. 

1 8th. If any of the Frank l gentlemen have taken a Mussul- 
man wife, she shall be given up. 

If there may be questions about any article, send a note quickly 
by the bearer. [MS. Records.] 

1 Frank or Feringhi signifies a European. 



Translation of a Treaty between the English Authorities at Caubul 
and the Afghan Nobles. (Dated in the month of Ze-vol-Kadh) 

The cause of writing this confidential paper, and the intention 
of forming this unparalleled friendly treaty, is this: That at the 
present happy moment, to put away strife and contention, and 
avert discord and enmity, the representatives of the great English 
nation that is, the high of rank and respected Eldred Pottyiger, 
the ambassador and agent of the English Government, and General 
Elphinstone, the commander of the English forces have con- 
cluded a comprehensive treaty containing certain articles, which 
they have confided to the hands of the Afghan nobility, that by 
it the chain of friendship may be strengthened. And it has been 
settled that the Afghan nobles shall give a similar writing. 

An engagement is now made by his Majesty Newab Mahomed 
Zemaun Khan, King of Afghanistan, and Naib Ameen-oollah 
Khan, and the chief nobles of Afghanistan, whose seals are affixed 
to and ornament this document. The articles of the treaty are as 

Article i. That the British troops shall speedily quit the 
territories of Afghanistan and march to India, and shall not return; 
and twenty-four hours after receiving the carriage-cattle the army 
shall start. 

Article 2. That on our part the Sirdars, Oosman Khan and 
Shoojah-ool-dowlah Khan, be appointed to accompany the before- 
mentioned army to the boundaries of Afghanistan and convey it 
to the boundary of the Sikh territory; so that no one shall offer 
molestation on the road; and that carriage-cattle and provisions 
may be procured for it. 

Article 3. That the English force at Jellalabad shall march for 
Peshawur before the Caubul army arrives, and shall not delay on 
the road. 

Article 4. Having brought the force at Ghuznee in safety to 
Caubul, under the protection of one of the relations of Naib 
Ameen-oollah Khan, we will send it to Peshawur unmolested 
under the care of another trustworthy person. 

Article 5. Since, according to agreement the troops at Candahar 
and other parts of Afghanistan are to start quickly for India, and 
make over those territories to our agents, we on our part appoint 
trustworthy persons who may provide them with provisions and 
protection, and preserve them from molestation. 

Article 6. All goods and property, and stores and cattle, 


belonging to Sirdar Dost Mahomed Khan, which may be in the 
hands of the English, shall be given up, and none retained. 

Article 7. Six English gentlemen, who remain here as our 
guests, shall be treated with courtesy. When the Ameer Dost 
Mahomed Khan and the other Afghans shall arrive at Peshawur, 
we will allow the above-mentioned English gentlemen to depart 
with honour. 

Article 8. After the departure of the English army according 
to the treaty, should assistance against foreign invasion be at any 
time demanded, they (the English Government) shall not delay. 
Between (the Governments) friendship and good-will shall exist; 
and we will not make a treaty with any but the above-mentioned 
English Government. And in case the Governor-General of 
India should not agree to this proposal, we are at liberty to form 
an alliance with any other power. 

Article 9. Should any English gentlemen be unavoidably 
detained in Caubul, we will treat him with all respect and con- 
sideration, and on his departure dismiss him with honour. 

Article 10. The English can take six horse-artillery guns and 
three mule guns, and the rest, by way of friendship, snail be left 
for our use. And all muskets and ordnance stores in the magazine 
shall, as a token of friendship, be made over to our agents. 

Article 1 1 . Such English soldiers as may be left sick or wounded 
at Caubul shall be at liberty to return to their own country on their 

This is the treaty, the articles of which have been entered into 
between the nobles of the Mahomedan faith and the distinguished 
gentlemen. From which articles we will not depart. Written in 
the month of Ze-vol-Kadh, in the year of the Mahomedan faith 











[MS. Records.] 




Whereas the British Government has represented to His 
Highness the Amir that the Russian Government presses for the 
literal fulfilment of the Agreement of 1873 between Russia and 
England by which it was decided that the river Oxus should form 
the northern boundary of Afghanistan, from Lake Victoria 
(Wood's Lake) or Sarikol on the east to the junction of the Kokcha 
with the Oxus, and whereas the British Government considers 
itself bound to abide by the terms of this Agreement, if the Russian 
Government equally abides by them, His Highness Amir Abdur 
Rahman Khan, G. C.S.I., Amir of Afghanistan and its Depend- 
encies, wishing to show his friendship to the British Government 
and his readiness to accept their advice ,in matters affecting his 
relations with Foreign Powers, hereby agrees that he will evacuate 
all the districts held by him to the north of this portion of the 
Oxus on the clear understanding that all the districts lying to the 
south of this portion of the Oxus, and not now in his possession, 
be handed over to him in exchange. And Sir Henry Mortimer 
Durand, K.C.I.E., C.S.I., Foreign Secretary to the Government 
of India, hereby declares on the part of the British Government 
that the transfer to His Highness the Amir of the said districts 
lying to the south of the Oxus is an essential part of this trans- 
action, and undertakes that arrangements will be made with the 
Russian Government to carry out the transfer of the said lands 
to the north and south of the Oxus. 

(Sd.) H. M. DURAND 
Kabul, 1 2th November 1893. 

1 2th November 1893 (2nd Jamadi-ul-awal 1311). 





Whereas certain questions have arisen regarding the frontier 
of Afghanistan on the side of India, and whereas both His High- 
ness tlxi Amir and the Government of India are desirous of settling 
these questions by a friendly understanding, and of fixing the limit 
of their respective spheres of influence, so that for the future there 
may be no difference of opinion on the subject between the allied 
Governments, it is hereby agreed as follows: 

(1) The eastern and southern frontier of His Highness's 
dominions, from Wakhan to the Persian border, shall follow the 
line shown in the map attached to this agreement. 

(2) The Government of India will at no time exercise inter- 
ference in the territories lying beyond this line on the side of 
Afghanistan, and His Highness the Amir will at no time exercise 
interference in the territories lying beyond this line on the side of 

(3) The British Government thus agrees to His Highness the 
Amir retaining Asmar and the valley above it, as far as Chanak. 
His Highness agrees on the other hand that he will at no time 
exercise interference in Swat, Bajaur or Chitral, including the 
Arnawai or Bashgal valley. The British Government also agrees 
to leave to His Highness the Birmal tract as shown in the detailed 
map already given to His Highness, who relinquishes his claim to 
the rest of the Waziri country and Dawar. His Highness also 
relinquishes his claim to Chageh. 

(4) The frontier line will hereafter be laid down in detail and 
demarcated, wherever this may be practicable and desirable, by 
Joint British and Afghan Commissioners, whose object will be to 
arrive by mutual understanding at a boundary which shall adhere 
with the greatest possible exactness to the line shown in the map 
?ttached to this agreement, having due regard to the existing local 
rights of villages adjoining the frontier. 

(5) With reference to the question of Chaman, the Amir 
withdraws his objection to the new British Cantonment and con- 
cedes to the British Government the rights purchased by him in 
the Sirkai Tibrai water. At this part of the frontier, the line will 
be drawn as follows: 

VOL. II 2 A 


From the crest of the Khwaja Amran range near the Peha 
Kotal, which remains in British territory, the line will run in such 
a direction as to leave Murgha Chaman and the Sharobo spring to 
Afghanistan, and to pass half-way between the new Chaman Fort 
and the Afghan outpost known locally as Lashkar Dand? The line 
will then pass half-way between the railway station and the hill 
known as the Mian Baldak, and turning southwards, will rejoin 
the Khwaja Amran range, leaving the Gwasha Post in British 
territory, and the road to Shorawak to the west and south of 
Gwasha in Afghanistan. The British Government will not 
exercise any interference within half a mile of the road. 

(6) The above articles of agreement are regarded by the 
Government of India and His Highness the Amir of Afghanistan 
as a full and satisfactory settlement of all the principal differences 
of opinion which have arisen between them in regard to the 
frontier, and both the Government of India and His Highness the 
Amir undertake that any differences of detail, such as those which 
will have to be considered hereafter by the officers appointed to 
demarcate the boundary line, shall be settled in a friendly spirit, 
so as to remove for the future, as far as possible, all causes of doubt 
and misunderstanding between the two Governments. 

(7) Being fully satisfied of His Highness's good-will to the 
British Government, and wishing to see Afghanistan independent 
and strong, the Government of India will raise no objection to the 
purchase and import by His Highness of munitions of war, and they 
will themselves grant him some help in this respect. Further, in 
order to mark their sense of the friendly spirit in which His High- 
ness the Amir has entered into these negotiations, the Government 
of India undertake to increase by the sum of six lakhs of rupees a 
year the subsidy of twelve lakhs now granted to His Highness. 

(Sd.) H. M. DURAND 
Kabul; j 

The 1 2th November 1893! 




Praise be to Allahl 

His Majesty Siraj-ul-millat-wa-ud-din 1 Amir Habibulla Khan, 
Independent King of the State of Afghanistan and its dependencies, 
on the one part, and the Honourable Mr. Louis William Dane, 
C.S.I.,. foreign Secretary of the Mighty Government of India 
and Representative of the exalted British Government, on the 
other part. 

His said Majesty does hereby agree to this that, in matters of 
principle and of subsidiary importance of the Treaty regarding 
internal and external affairs and of the engagements which His 
Highness, my late father, that is, Zia-ul-millat-wa-ud-din, 2 who 
has found mercy, may God enlighten his tomb! concluded and 
acted upon with the exalted British Government, I also have 
acted, am acting, and will act upon the same agreement and 
compact, and I will not contravene them in any dealing or in any 

The said Honourable Mr. Louis William Dane does hereby 
agree to this that as to the very agreement and engagement that 
the exalted British Government concluded and acted upon with 
the noble father of His Majesty Siraj-ul-millat-wa-ud-din, that 
is, His Highness Zia-ul-millat-wa-ud-din, who has found mercy, 
regarding internal and external affairs and matters of principle or 
of subsidiary importance, I confirm them and write that they (the 
British Government) will not act contrary to those agreements 
and engagements in any way or at any time. 

Made on Tuesday, the I4th day of Muharram-ul-Haram of 
the year 1323 Hijri, corresponding to the 2ist day of March of 
the year 1905 A.D. 

[Persian seal of Amir Habibulla Khan.] 
This 3 is correct. I have sealed and 

Louis W. Dane, 

Foreign Secretary, 

representing the Government of India 

1 This signifies " Lamp of the Nation and of the Faith." 

* This signifies " Lord of the Nation and of the Faith." 

3 In the handwriting of the Amir. 




The high contracting parties being animated with a sincere 
desire to assure the perfect security of their respective frontiers 
in Central Asia and to maintain there a solid and lasting peace, 
have decided to conclude a Convention to that effect. 

Article I. His Majesty's Government declare that they have 
no intention of changing trie political status of Afghanistan; His 
Majesty's Government further engage to exercise their influence 
in Afghanistan only in a pacific sense and will not themselves 
take in Afghanistan, and will not encourage Afghanistan to take 
any measures threatening Russia. The Russia Government on 
their part declare that they recognize Afghanistan as outside the 
sphere of Russian influence, and they engage that all their political 
relations with Afghanistan shall be conducted through the inter- 
mediary of His Majesty's Government. They further undertake 
not to send any agents into Afghanistan. 

Article II. His Majesty's Government having declared in 
the Treaty signed at Kabul on the 2ist March 1905 that they 
recognized the Agreement and the engagements concluded witn 
the late Amir Abdur Rahman and that they have no intention 
of interfering in the internal government of Afghanistan, His 
Majesty's Government engage not to annex or to occupy in 
contravention of that Treaty any portion of Afghanistan or to 
interfere in the internal administration of the country, provided 
that the Amir fulfils the engagements already contracted towards 
His Majesty's Government under the abovementioned Treaty. 

Article III. The Russian and Afghan authorities specially 
designated for the purpose on the frontier or in the frontier 
provinces may establish direct reciprocal relations with each othter 
for the settlement of local questions of a non-political character. 

Article IV. The British and Russian Governments declare 
that they recognize as regards Afghanistan the principle of equality 
of treatment in matters concerning commerce and agree that any 
facilities which may have been, or shall be hereafter obtained for 
British and British Indian trade and traders shall be equally applied 



to Russian trade and traders. Should the progress of commerce 
establish the necessity for commercial agents, the two Governments 
will agree as to the measures to be taken, due regard being had to 
the Amir's Sovereign rights. 

Article V. The present arrangements will only enter into 
force from the moment when the British Government has notified 
to the Russian Government the consent of the Amir to the terms 
above stipulated. 



The following articles for the restoration of peace have been 
agreed upon by the British Government and the Afghan Govern- 

Article i 

From the date of the signing of this Treaty there shall be peace 
between the British Government, on the one part, and the Govern- 
ment of Afghanistan on the other. 

Article 2 

In view of the circumstances which have brought about the 
present war between the British Government and the Government 
of Afghanistan, the British Government, to mark their displeasure, 
withdraw the privilege enjoyed by former Amirs of importing 
arms, ammunition and warlike munitions through India to 

Article 3 

The arrears of the late Amir's subsidy are furthermore con- 
fiscated, and no subsidy is granted to the present Amir. 

Article 4 

At the same time, the British Government are desirous of the 
re-establishment of the old friendship, that has so long existed 
between Afghanistan and Great Britain, provided they have guar- 
antees that the Afghan Government are, on their part, sincerely 
anxious to regain the friendship of the British Government. The 
British Government are prepared, therefore, provided the Afghan 
Government prove this by their acts and conduct, to receive 
another Afghan mission after six months, for the discussion and 
settlement of matters of common interest to the two Governments, 
and the re-establishment of the old friendship on a satisfactory 



Article 5 

The Afghan Government accept the I ndo- Afghan frontier 
accepted by the late Amir. They further agree to the early 
demarcation by a British Commission of the undemarcated portion 
of the line west of the Khyber, where the recent Afghan aggression 
took place, and to accept such boundary as the British Commission 
may lay down. The British troops on this side will remain in their 
positions until such demarcation has been effected. 


You asked me for some further assurance that the Peace 
Treaty which the British Government now offer, contains nothing 
that interferes with the complete liberty of Afghanistan either in 
internal or external matters. 

My friend, if you will read the Treaty carefully you will see 
that there is no such interference with the liberty of Afghanistan. 
You have told me that the Afghan Government are unwilling to 
renew the arrangement whereby the late Amir agreed to follow 
unreservedly the advice of the British Government in regard to 
his external relations. I have not therefore pressed this matter, 
and no mention of it is made in the Treaty. Therefore, the said 
Treaty and this letter leave Afghanistan officially free and inde- 
pendent in its internal and external affairs. 

Moreover, this war has cancelled all previous Treaties. 





(1) It was agreed that it is in the mutual interest of both 
Governments that the Afghan State shall be strong and prosperous. 

(2) The British Government will be prepared to reiterate the 
undertaking, already given bv them, to respect absolutely the 
integrity and independence or Afghanistan, both in internal and 
external affairs, and to restrain to the best of their ability all persons 
within the British boundaries from taking action obnoxious to the 
Afghan Government. 

(3) The British Government expect that the Afghan Govern- 
ment will similarly undertake to prevent to the best of their ability 
all action within the boundaries of Afghanistan, whether by their 
own subjects or by British subjects who are or may in the future 
be refugees from the British Dominions, or by subjects of other 
nations, which may tend to stir up strife or produce enmity against 
the British Government within the boundaries of India. The 
British Government expect that the Afghan Government will 
undertake in particular to restrain their subordinate officials and 
others from inciting the frontier tribes within the British Boun- 
daries against the British, to prevent to the best of their ability 
the passage through Afghan territory to the British frontier of 
arms and ammunition and of persons intending to raise an agitation 
against the British Government, to prohibit preparations within 
Afghan territory for making raids into British territory, to punish 
persons found guilty of committing such raids, ana to abstain 
themselves from all interference with tribes or persons on the 
British side of the frontier, and from all kinds of political propa- 
ganda within the British Empire. 

(4) If the Afghan Government were willing to give formal 
undertakings as set forth in the foregoing paragraph, then the 
British Government, in the event of a Treaty of Friendship being 
signed, and in order to show their sympathy with the desire of the 



Afghan Government to develop their country, would be willing 
to consider, as part of a Treaty of Friendship, the grant, for so 
long as the Afghan Government performed its undertakings to the 
satisfaction of the British Government, of assistance and con- 
cessions to Afghanistan on the following lines: 

(a) A yearly subvention of eighteen lakhs of rupees. 

(b) Reasonable assistance towards the education in Europe, 
at such places as might be agreed upon between the two 
Governments, of a moderate number of Afghan youths, 
to be selected by the Afghan Government with due regard 
to their educational qualifications. 

(c) Reasonable assistance, to be granted gradually, as financial 
and other circumstances might permit, towards the con- 
struction in Afghanistan of railways, telegraph lines, and 
factories, and towards the development of mines. 

(d) Technical advice regarding irrigation. 

(e) The manufacture and supply of specially prepared paper 
for the printing of Afghan currency notes and (if necessary) 
provision of machines for note printing. 

(/) Technical advice regarding the establishment of an 
Afghan Government or Commercial Bank, and regarding 
possibilities of improving the system of commercial credit 
in Afghanistan. 

(g) The restoration of the privilege of importing arms and 
ammunition and military stores through India to Afghan- 
istan, provided that the Government of Afghanistan shall 
first have signed the Arms Traffic Convention, and pro- 
vided that such importation shall only be made in accord- 
ance with the provisions of that Convention. 

(h) The grant in respect of all goods imported into India at 
British ports fpr re-export to Afghanistan, and exported 
to Afghanistan by routes to be agreed upon between the 
two Governments, of a rebate at the time and place of 
export of the full amount of customs duty levied upon 
such goods, subject to a deduction of not more than one- 
eighth of such duty as recompense for the work of customs 
registration, and provided that such goods shall be trans- 
ported through India in sealed packages which shall not 
be broken before their export from India. 
(/) An undertaking to levy no customs duty on such goods 
of Afghan origin or manufacture as may be lawfully 
imported into India, provided that such goods shall not 
be exempted from the levy of the present Khyber tolls, 
and from the levy of octroi in any Indian Municipality, 
in which octroi is, or may be hereafter, levied. 


(j) An undertaking to permit the export from Afghanistan 
through India, in bond, and in sealed packages, by routes 
to be agreed upon between the two Governments, of 
opium and charas produced and manufactured in Afghan- 
istan, provided that such opium and charas shall not be 
despatched from Indian ports to any destination to which 
the British Government are under an obligation to pro- 
hibit or limit the despatch of opium or charas. 

(k) The facilitating of the interchange of postal articles be- 
tween India and Afghanistan, and arranging in accord- 
ance with a separate postal agreement for the establishment 
of offices of exchange on their frontiers, provid^f that 
neither Government shall be permitted to establish a post 
office in the territory of the other Government. 

(/) Permission to establish at Peshawar and Quetta trading 
agencies of the Afghan Government, provided that the 
personnel and property of the agencies shall be subject to 
the operations of all British laws and orders and to the 
jurisdiction of British courts, and that they shall not be 
recognised by the British authorities as having any official 
or privileged position. 

(m) Permission to establish Afghan Consulates at Culcutta, 
Bombay and Karachi, provided the Afghan Government 
permit the establishment of British Consulates at Jalalabad, 
Ghazni, and Kandahar. The Consuls of both Govern- 
ments, with their staffs, to enjoy all the privileges conceded 
by international practice to such officials. 

(5) In the event of the conclusion of a Treaty of Friendship 
the British Government would be prepared, on its signature, to 
make the following gifts to the Afghan Government, as immediate 
and tangible tokens of the sincerity of their intentions: 

Either the following: 


(a) 1 60 miles of steel telegraph posts, with a double wire, to 
be handed over either at Chaman or at Peshawar. 

(b) i o new large motor lorries with spares. 

(c) 20 new touring cars with spares, American make, owing 
to difficulty in obtaining prompt delivery of new English 

(d) 300 soldiers' pals (bivouack tents). 

Or the following: 


460 miles of steel telegraph posts with a double wire. 

(N.B. This would be sufficient for the construction of a 


telegraph system from the British frontier to Kabul and from 
Kabul to Kandahar; but it must be explained that immediate 
delivery could be made only of 160 miles, which would suffice 
for the line from the Britisn frontier to Kabul. The balance of 
300 miles could not be made available in less than a year from 
now, owing to shortage of material in India.) 

(6) The following points are reserved for further consideration 
at the time of negotiating a Treaty of Friendship: 

(a) Permission to export from Afghanistan rouble notes through 

India to countries outside India where their entry is 


Representation of the Afghan Government in London. 





The British Government and the Government of Afghanistan, 
with a view to the establishment of neighbourly relations between 
them, have agreed to the Articles written hereunder, whereto the 
undersigned, duly authorised to that effect, have set their seals: 

Article 1 

The British Government and the Government of Afghanistan 
mutually certify and respect, each with regard to the other, all 
rights of internal and external independence. 

Article II 

The two High Contracting Parties mutually accept the Indo- 
Afghan Frontier, as accepted by the Afghan Government under 
Article V of the treaty concluded at Rawalpindi on the 8th August 
1919, corresponding to the I ith Ziqada, 1337 Hijra, and also the 
boundary west of the Khyber laid down by the British Commission 
in the months of August and September 1919, pursuant to the said 
Article, and shown on the map attached to this treaty by a black 
chain line; subject only to the realignment set forth in Schedule I 
annexed, which has been agreed upon in order to include within 
the boundaries of Afghanistan the place known as Tor Kham, 
and the whole bed of the Kabul river between Shilman Khwala 
Banda and Palosai, and which is shown on the said map by a red 
chain line. The British Government agrees that the Afghaja 
authorities shall be permitted to draw water in reasonable quantities 
through a pipe, which shall be provided by the British Government, 
from Landi Khana for the use of Afghan subjects at Tor Kham, 
and the Government of Afghanistan agrees that British officers 
and tribesmen living on the British side of the boundary shall be 
permitted, without let or hindrance, to use the aforesaid portion 
of the Kabul river for purposes of navigation, and that all existing 



rights of irrigation from the aforesaid portion of the river shall be 
continued to British subjects. 

Article III 

The British Government agrees that a Minister from His 
Majesty the Amir of Afghanistan shall be received at the Royal 
Court of London, like the Envoys of all other Powers, and to 
permit the establishment of an Afghan Legation in London, and 
the Government of Afghanistan likewise agrees to receive in Kabul 
a Minister from His Britannic Majesty the Emperor of India, 
and to permit the establishment of a British Legation at Kabul. 

Path party shall have the right of appointing a Military 
Attache to its Legation. 

Article IV 

The Government of Afghanistan agrees to the establishment 
of British Consulates at Kandahar and Jalalabad, and the British 
Government agrees to the establishment of an Afghan Consul- 
General at the headquarters of the Government of India, and three 
Afghan Consulates at Calcutta, Karachi and Bombay. In the 
event of the Afghan Government desiring at any time to appoint 
Consular officers in any British territories other than India, a 
separate agreement shall be drawn up to provide for such appoint- 
ments, if they are approved by the British Government. 

Article V 

The two High Contracting Parties mutually guarantee the 
personal safety and honourable treatment each of the representatives 
of the other, whether Minister, Consul-General, or Consuls, within 
their own boundaries, and they agree that the said representatives 
shall be subject in the discharge of their duties to the provisions 
set forth in the second Schedule annexed to this treaty. The 
British Government further agrees that the Minister, Consul- 
General, and Consuls of Afghanistan shall, within the territorial 
limits within which they are permitted to reside or to exercise 
their functions, notwithstanding the provisions of the said Schedule, 
receive and enjoy any rights or privileges which are or may here- 
after be granted to or enjoyed by the Minister, Consul-General, 
<$r Consuls of any other Government in the countries in which the 
places of residence of the said Minister, Consul-General and Consuls 
of Afghanistan are fixed \ and the Government of Afghanistan 
likewise agrees that the Minister and Consuls of Great Britain 
shall, within the territorial limits within which they are permitted 
to reside or to exercise their functions, notwithstanding the pro- 
visions of the said Schedule, receive and enjoy any rights or 


privileges which are or may hereafter be granted to or enjoyed 
by the Minister or Consuls of any other Government, in the 
countries in which the places of residence of the said Minister and 
Consuls of Great Britain are fixed. 

Article VI 

As it is for the benefit of the British Government and the 
Government of Afghanistan that the Government of Afghanistan 
shall be strong and prosperous, the British Government agrees 
that, whatever quantity of material is required for the strength 
and welfare of Afghanistan, such as all kinds of factory magjjinery, 
engines and materials and instruments for telegraph, telephones, 
etc., which Afghanistan may be able to buy from Britain or the 
British dominions or from other countries of the world, shall 
ordinarily be imported without let or hindrance by Afghanistan 
into its own territories from the ports of the British Isles and 
British India. Similarly the Government of Afghanistan agrees 
that every kind of goods, the export of which is not against the 
internal law of the Government of Afghanistan, and which may 
in the judgment of the Government of Afghanistan be in excess 
of the internal needs and requirements of Afghanistan, and is 
required by the British Government, can be purchased and exported 
to India with the permission of the Government of Afghanistan. 
With regard to arms and munitions, the British Government agrees 
that, as long as it is assured that the intentions of the Government 
of Afghanistan are friendly, and that there is no immediate danger 
to India from such importation in Afghanistan, permission shall 
be given without let or hindrance for such importation. If, how- 
ever, the Arms Traffic Convention is hereafter ratified by the 
Great Powers of the world and comes into force, the right of 
importation of arms and munitions by the Afghan Government 
shall be subject to the proviso that the Afghan Government shall 
first have signed the Arms Traffic Convention, and that such 
importation shall only be made in accordance with the provisions 
of that Convention. Should the Arms Traffic Convention not 
be ratified or lapse, the Government of Afghanistan, subject to 
the foregoing assurance, can from time to time import into its 
own territory the arms and munitions mentioned above through 
the ports of the British Isles and British India. 

Article Vll 

No Customs duties shall be levied at British Indian ports on 
goods imported under the provisions of Article VI on behalf 
of the Government of Afghanistan, for immediate transport to 


Afghanistan, provided that a certificate, signed by such Afghan 
authority or representative as may from time to time be determined 
by the two Governments, shall be presented at the time of importa- 
tion to the Chief Customs Officer at the port of import, setting 
forth that the goods in question are the property of the Govern- 
ment of Afghanistan and are being sent under its orders to 
Afghanistan, and showing the description, number and value of 
the goods in respect of which exemption is claimed; provided, 
secondly, that the goods are required for the public services of 
Afghanistan and not for the purposes of any State monopoly or 
State trade, and provided, thirdly, that the goods are, unless of a 
clearj^jjistinguishable nature, transported through India in sealed 
packages, which shall not be opened or sub-divided before their 
export from India. 

And also the British Government agrees to the grant, in 
respect of all trade goods imported into India at British ports for 
re-export to Afghanistan and exported to Afghanistan by routes 
to be agreed upon between the two Governments, of a rebate at 
the time and place of export of the full amount of Customs duty 
levied upon such goods, provided that such goods shall be trans- 
ported through India in sealed packages, which shall not be opened 
or sub-divided before their export from India. 

And also the British Government declares that it has no 
present intention of levying Customs duty on goods or livestock 
of Afghan origin or manufacture, imported by land or by river 
into India or exported from Afghanistan to other countries of the 
world through India, and the import of which into India is not 
prohibited by law. In the event, however, of the British Govern- 
ment, deciding in the future to levy Customs duties on goods and 
livestock imported into India by land or by river from neighbouring 
States it will, if necessary, levy such duties on imports from 
Afghanistan; but in that event it agrees that it will not levy 
higher duties on imports from Afghanistan than those levied on 
imports from such neighbouring States. Nothing in this Article 
shall prevent the levy on imports from Afghanistan of the present 
Khyber tolls and of octroi in any town of India in which octroi 
is or may be hereafter levied, provided that there shall be no 
enhancement over the present rate of the Khyber tolls. 

Article HI! 

The British Government agrees to the establishment of trade 
agents by the Afghan Government at Peshawar, Quetta, and 
Parachinar, provided that the personnel and the property of the 
said agencies shall be subject to the operations of all British laws 
and orders and to the jurisdiction of British Courts; and that they 


shall not be recognized by the British authorities as having any 
official or special privileged position. 

Article IX 

The trade goods coming to (imported to) Afghanistan under 
the provisions of Article VII from Europe, etc., can be opened 
at the railway terminuses at Jamrud, in the Kurram, and at 
Chaman, for packing and arranging to suit the capacity of baggage 
animals without this being the cause of re-imposition of Customs 
duties; and the carrying out of this will be arranged by the trade 
representatives mentioned in Article XII. 

Article X 

The two High Contracting Parties agree to afford facilities of 
every description for the exchange of postal matter between their 
two countries, provided that neither shall be authorised to establish 
Post Offices within the territory of the other. In order to give 
effect to this Article, a separate Postal Convention shall be con- 
cluded, for the preparation of which such number of special officers 
as the Afghan Government may appoint shall meet the officers of 
the British Government and consult with them. 

Article XI 

The two High Contracting Parties having mutually satisfied 
themselves each regarding the good will of the other, and especially 
regarding their benevolent intentions towards the tribes residing 
close to their respective boundaries, hereby undertake each to inform 
the other in future of any military operations of major importance, 
which may appear necessary for the maintenance of order among 
the frontier tribes residing within their respective spheres, before 
the commencement of such operations. 

Article XII 

The two High Contracting Parties agree that representatives 
of the Government of Afghanistan and of the British Govern- 
ment shall be appointed to discuss the conclusion of a Trade 
Convention and the convention shall in the first place be regarding 
the measures (necessary) for carrying out the purposes mentioned in 
Article IX or this treaty. Secondly, (they) shall arrange regarding 
commercial matters not now mentioned in this treaty, which may 
appear desirable for the benefit of the two Governments. The 
trade relations between the two Governments shall continue until 
the Trade Convention mentioned above comes into force. 


Article XIII 

The two High Contracting Parties agree that the first and 
second schedules attached to this treaty shall have the same binding 
force as the Articles contained in this treaty. 

Article XIV 

The provisions of this treaty shall come into force from the 
date of its signature, and shall remain in force for three years 
from that date. In case neither of the High Contracting Parties 
shouljj^ave notified, twelve months before the expiration of the 
said three years, the intention to terminate it, it shall remain 
binding until the expiration of one year from the day on which 
either of the High Contracting Parties shall have denounced it. 
This treaty shall come into force after the signatures of the 
Missions of the two Parties, and the two ratified copies of this 
shall be exchanged in Kabul within 2| months after the signatures. 


Chief of the Delegation of Envoy Extraordinary and 

the Afghan Government Chief of the British 

for the conclusion of the Mission to Kabul 

Tuesday, 3Oth Aqrab 1300 This twenty-second day of 

HijraShamsi (correspond- November one thousand 

ing to 22nd November nine hundred and twenty- 

1921) one 

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In the Footsteps of the Buddha, by Rend Grousset. 1932. 

India as I Knew It, by Sir Michael O'Dwyer. 1925. 

India, Morley and Minto, by Mary, Countess of Minto. 1934. 

Indian Administration of Lord Lytton, The, by Lady Betty Balfour. 

Indian Borderland, The, by Sir Thomas Holdich. 1901. 

Indo-Iranian Borderlands, The: Their P } re-history in the Light of Geography 

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Zafar-Nama of Sharaf-ud-Din, Ali of Tezd, The. 


Abaka Khan (son of Hulaku Khan), i, 235; 

reign of, 236} battle of Hims, 237; 

corresponds with Europe, 237, 243 
Abbasa (sister of Harun-al-Rashid), i, 

177 * 

Abbasid Dynasty, the foundation of, i, 172, 
185, 197 

Abbas Mirza, i, 401 

Abbas II, i, 325 

Abbot, Captain James, ii, 8, 84 

Abdalis: become subjects of Shah Abbas, 
i, 313; they revolt and are forced to 
migrate to Herat province, 313; Ghil- 
zais and, 3255 rebellion of, 326; Nadir 
defeats force of, 329; Nadir decides to 
crush, 330; feuds among, 330; make 
overtures for peace, 333, 351, 352, 


Abd-al-Rahman, i, 1 59 
Abdul Ghaffar, a leader of the Red Shirts, 

ii, 3 2 3 

Abdul Kuddus, ii, 270 
Abdul Kuddus Khan, ii, 1 54 
Abdullah Khan Sadozai, i, 330 
Abdulla ibn Amir, Governor of Basra, i, 


Abdulla Jan, Sirdar: Abdulla Jan (young- 
est son of Shir Ali), ii, 81 ; nomination 
as heir-apparent, 101; Shir Ali's favour- 
ite son, 101, 105 
Abdulla Khan Achakzai, ii, 27 
Abdulla Khan (son of Shir Ali), ii, 76 
Abdulla Khan II, i, 305, 306, 307, 308 
Abdulla Mirza (grandson of Shah Rukh), 

i, 270 

Abdulla (son of Amir Kazghan), i, 252 
Abdul Latif (son of Ulugh Beg), i, 269 
Abdul Malik Mir (son of Amir Muzaffar 

of Bukhara), ii, 79 
Abdul Malik II, i, 185, 187 
Ar^ul Qaiyum, Sir, ii, 323 
Abdul Rahim of Lahore, Maulvi (the 
Obaydulla of the Silk Letters Con- 
spiracy), ii, 259, 261, 262 
Abdul Wali, Kazi, Indian seditionist, ex- 
pelled from Afghanistan, ii, 296 
Abdur Rahman, Sirdar (son of Afzal 
Khan), ii, 72; rebellion of, 73; occu- 
pies Kabul, 73, 7$, 76; flight towards 
Zurmat, 77, 80; 115 footnote, 119; 

early years of, 120; imprisonment, 
12 1 j Commander-in-chief, 122; flight 
of, 123; return and defeat, 123; de- 
cides to return to Afghanistan, 126; 
encouragement of, by Russia, 1275 
travels to Badakhshan, 127; arrival in 
Afghan Turkistan reported to British, 
129; chief opponents of, 1 30; battle of 
Ahmad Khel, 131; question of Herat, 
134; proclaimed Amir of Kabul, 137; 
acknowledged Amir of Afghanistan and 
its dependencies, 151 et seq.$ occupies 
Kandahar, 153; defeats Ayub Khan, 
154; capture of Herat, 154; the 
Panjdeh Crisis, 163-165; his claim on 
Jandol and Chitral, 170-171; Durand 
Mission to Kabul, 174 et seq.\ Shinwari 
expedition, 189; Ghilzai rebellion, 190; 
rebellion of Ishak Khan, 191; the 
Hazara rising, 192; gazetted a G.C.B., 
193; requests the appointment of Am- 
bassador in London, 194; subjugation 
of Kafiristan, 195; improvements 
effected during his reign, 197-198; 
death, 198; character, 198; likened 
to William the Conqueror, 200; the 
situation after his death, 215; agree- 
ments signed with Sir Henry Mortimer 
Durand, 352-354, Appendix C 

Abdur Rashid (sixth son of Mahmud), i. 

Abdur Razzak Mirza (son of Ulugh 
Mirza), i, 268, 280, 285 

Abgarus, Chief of Osroene, i, 108 

Abgarus VII of Osrhoene, i, 1 14 

Ab-i-Diz, River, i, 19 

Ab-i-Panja, River, i, 6 

Abivard, i, 328, 329, 347 

Abraham, Patriarch, i, 23, 109 

Abu Ali, Prince of Ghur, i, 189, 197 

Abu Ali bin Sina, vide Avicenna 

Abu Ali Simjur, i, 187 

Abu Bakr (son of Miranshah), i, 261 

Abu Ibrahim (brother of Abdul Malik II), 
i, 188 

Abu Jafar, Mansur, vide Mansur 

Abu Kalinjar, i, 193 

Abul Abbas (SaffaA), i, 172-173 

Abul Faiz, Amir of Bukhara, i, 345 

Abul Fath Daud, i, 188 




Abulistin, battle of, i, 237 

Abul Muaskar (brother of Isa, Chief of 

Makran), i, 193 
Abu Muslim, i, 1725 raises the black 

standard, 1725 173, 174$ assassinated, 

Abu Said (grandson of Miranshah), reign 

of, i, 270 
Abu Said (son and successor of Uljaitu), i, 


Abydos, i, 59 
Achaemenes (or Hakhamanish), Prince, i, 

Achaemenians, i, 8, 39, 44; dynasty, i 
footnote \ inscriptions, 95 foundation of 
dynasty, 37 

Achaeus, Viceroy of Asia Minor, i, 84 

Acre, i, 239, 245, 246, 248 

Adad-Nirari II, King of Assyria, i, 28 

Adam, a Gakkar Chief, i, 302 

Aden, Gulf of, i, 122 

Adiabene, i, 99, 106, 114, 1 16 

Adii Shah (Mubariz, Khan, brother-in- 
law of Islam Shah), i, 302, 303, 304 

Adina Beg, appointed Governor of the 
Duab of Jullundur, i, 358 

Adrianople, battle of, i, 133 

Adriatic Sea, i, 228 

Adul Aziz, i, 315, 316, 326 

Adulis (Zeila), i, 81 

Afghanistan, History of, vol. i: the land 
and the people, i et seq., prehistory and 
early history in Egypt and the Near 
East, 17 et seq.'y Medes and Persians 
conquer Iranian Plateau, 33; Cyrus the 
Great, 43 et seq.\ at the dawn of 
History, 465 Afghanistan satrapies, 47$ 
Alexander the Great, 58 et seq.\ 
Seleucid dynasty and rise of Parthia, 
71 et seq.\ kingdom of Bactria, 88 et 
seq.\ end of Greek rule in, 101; Rome, 
Parthia and the Kushan dynasty, 103 
et seq.\ Sasanian dynasty, Rome and the 
White Huns, 124 et seq.\ reign of 
Noshirwan followed by the decline of 
the Persian Empire, 141 et seq.\ Arab 
conquests in Central Asia and Afghanis- 
tan, 157; invasion of, by the Moslems, 
159; Golden Age of the Abbasid 
dynasty and its decay, 171 et seq.\ 
dynasty of Ghazni, 186 et seq.$ the 
Seljuk and the Ghurid dynasties, 203 
et seq.$ Mongol cataclysm, 218 et seq.\ 
the Il-Khans, 234 et seq.^ Tamerlane, 
252 et seq.\ renaissance of art under the 
Timurid princes, 267 et seq.^ Baber 
founds Moghul Empire of India, 276 
et seq.\ influence of the Emperors 
Humayun and Akbar, 296 et seq.\ 
journey of Benedict Goes, 308; 
Afghanistan under the later Moghul 

emperors, 311 et seq.\ Nadir Shah 
recovers the lost provinces of Persia, 
325 et seq.\ his conquests and death, 
339 et seq.\ Ahmad Shah founds the 
Kingdom of Afghanistan, 351 et seq.\ 
Timur Shah and Zaman Shah, 368 et 
seq.) downfall of the Sadozai dynasty, 
383 et seq.$ Fath Khan governs the 
Afghans, 389; Dost Muhammad, 392 
et seq.\ siege of Herat, 400-401; 
Mission of Captain Burnes, 401 et seq. 
Afghanistan, History of, vol. ii: the first 
Afghan War, i et seq.\ Mission of 
Macnaghten to Ranjit Singh, i-2j 
Simla Manifesto, 3, 339~343> surrender 
of Amir Dost Muhammad, 13 et seq.\ 
retreat from Kabul, 22 et seq.^ second 
reign of Dost Muhammad, 61 et seq.', 
Shir AH establishes himself as Amir, 
69 et seq.) advance of Russia across 
Central Asia, 83 et seq.-^ first Seistan 
Mission, 1872, 91 et seq.^ the genesis 
of the Second Afghan War, 97 et seq.\ 
Second Afghan War, no et seq.\ 
Abdur Rahman, 120 et seq.\ battles of 
Maiwand and Kandahar, 139 et seq.\ 
Abdur Rahman is acknowledged Amir of 
Afghanistan and its dependencies, 151 
et seq.; the Panjdeh Crisis, 158 et 3eq.\ 
Durand Mission to Kabul, 169 et seq.^ 
the Pamir and other Boundary Com- 
missions, 178 et seq.\ Abdur Rahman 
tames his rebellious subjects, 189; the 
McMahon Missions, 20 ij Amir Habi- 
bulla Khan negotiates a new treaty, 
215 et seq.\ Habibulla Khan visits 
India, 225 et seq.\ Turko-German 
Mission to the Amir during the Great 
War, 246 et seq.\ assassination of King 
Habibulla and accession of Amanulla 
Khan, 264 et seq.\ Third Afghan War, 
270 et seq.\ 'acknowledged to be an 
independent State, 283 et seq.$ King 
Amanulla institutes reforms, 295 et 
seq.\ visits Europe, Egypt, Turkey and 
Persia, 302 et seq.\ tragedy of King 
Amanulla, 310^ seq. ; rise of the brigand 
Habibulla, 312 et seq.] Nadir Khan 
overthrows the brigand Habibulla and 
is elected king, 318^ seq.') assassination 
of King Nadir Shah and accession of 
King Zahir Shah, 327 et seq.\ becomes 
a member of the League of Nations, 
33 3 j Four- Power Treaty of Saadabad, 


Afghan Turkistan, i, 2, 5, 10; ii, 119, 
120, 123, 129 

Afghan War, First: Lord Auckland settles 
his policy, ii, i; mission of Mac- 
naghten to Ranjit Singh, 15 instruc- 
tions of the Board of Control, 25 



decision to despatch a British Force to 
Kabul, 2; Simla Manifesto of October 
i, 1838, 3} raising of the siege of 
Herat, 4; army of the Indus, 4; 
organization of transport and supplies, 
4J contingent of Shah Shuja, 4; 
appointments of Macnaghten and 
Burnes, 5; line of march, 5; march to 
Bukkur, 5; march of Bombay division, 
6; march up the Bolan Pass, 6} mission 
of Burnes to the Khan of Kalat, 7; 
advance on Kandahar, 7; entry of Shah 
Shuja into Kandahar, 7; position at 
Kandahar, 8} mission to Herat, 8; 
position of Dost Muhammad, 9; 
advanft up the Khaibar Pass of the 
Sikh Force, 9; advance on Ghazni, 
June 27, 1839, 9$ flight of Dost 
Muhammad, 11; occupation of Kabul, 
n; withdrawal and distribution of 
British troops, 14, 15; surrender of 
Dost Muhammad, 20; rebellions of the 
tribes, 22-24$ Sale's march to Jalalabad, 
24-26; murder of Burnes, 27-28; 
disasters at Charikar and Shekabad, 
29; Nott despatches brigade to Kabul, 
29-30; Macnaghten's negotiations with 
Chiefs, 30; is murdered, 31; attitude 
of Akbar Khan, 31-32$ retreat of 
British from Kabul, 33 et seq.' y siege of 
Jalalabad, 40; position of Nott at 
Kandahar, 42; Pollock forces the 
Khaibar Pass, 46; relief of Jalalabad, 
47; Lord Ellenborough's instructions, 
47; Pollock advances to Gandamak, 
49-50; battle of Tezin, 50; battle of 
Ghoaine, 51; Shams-ud-Din Khan 
attacks the British, 51; Nott reaches 
Kabul Valley, 52; the Captives Lady 
Sale's Journal quoted, 53, 54; last 
expedition, 57; victorious British 
armies march back to India, $7-58; 
Ellenborough's treatment of the host- 
ages and prisoners, 58; summary, 36, 
37; 105, no 

Afghan War, Second: genesis of, ii, 97 
et seq.\ General Kaufmann, 97; Shir 
AH, 97; Sayyid Nur Muhammad, 98; 
Lord Northbrook and Shir Ali, 99; 
reply of Secretary of State for India, 
100; Sirdar Abdulla Jan, 101; Yakub 
Khan and Ayub Khan, 101; Lord 
Salisbury, 101; Disraeli's policy, 102; 
Lord Lytton and Amir, 102; Treaty 
with Kalat, 105; Mission to Kabul, 
106; British Mission to Kabul, 107; 
despatch of ultimatum, 108; British 
invade Afghanistan, no; battle of 
Peiwar Kotal, in; Treaty of Ganda- 
mak, 114; British envoy reaches Kabul, 
114; advance on Kabul, 117; battle of 

Charasia, 117; Roberts enters Kabul, 
1 1 8; abdication of Yakub Khan, 1 18 

Afghan War, Third: the first act of war, 
ii, 273; phases of operations, 273; 
British garrison at Landi Kotal, 274; 
attempted rising in Peshawar city, 274; 
capture of the Afghan position at Bagh, 
275; Afghan attack on the camp at 
Dakka, 275; Afridis display hostility, 
276; Jalalabad and Kabul bombed, 
276; Amanulla Khan requests an 
armistice, 277; movements of Nadir 
Khan, 277-278; evacuation of the 
Tochi Valley and of Wana, 278; the 
Chitral front, 280; Southern front, 
281; summary, 282 

Afridis, i, 307; ii, 114 

Afshars, i, 328, 329, 333 

Afzal Khan (father of Abdur Rahman), ii, 
9, 13; governor of Afghan Turkistan, 
71; rebellion of, 72-73; proclaimed 
Amir, 74; British communication to, 
74,75; death of, 75; 120, 121 

Aga Khan, H.H., i, 232 

Aga Muhammad Shah, founder of the 
Kajar dynasty, i, 371, 373 

Agathocleia (daughter of Demetrius 
Invictus), i, 97, 101 

Agathocles (son of Demetrius), i, 93 

Agathocles (son of Lysimachus), i, 77, 78 

Agbatana (Ecbatana), bit-Daiaukka, i, 36 

Agesilaus, Spartan general, i, 56 

Aghasi, Haji Mirza, i, 409 

Agra, i, 292, 298, 303, 304, 305, 311, 
318, 323 

Ahmad, Mahmud's treasurer, Governor of 
Punjab, i, 193, 194 

Ahmad, successor of Ismail, i, 183 

Ahmad, Sultan of Turkey, death, i, 312 

Ahmad, Sultan, Jalayr Chief, i, 258, 261, 

Ahmad, Sultan (son of Abu Said), i, 270, 

Ahmad (brother of Ali bin Buwayhid), i, 

Ahmad Khan, Chief of the Nurzai clan, 
i, 382 

Ahmad Khan, Sultan (nephew of Dost 
Muhammad), ii, 67, 93 

Ahmad Khel, battle of, ii, 131 

Ahmad Pasha, i, 335 

Ahmad Shah, founder of the Kingdom of 
Afghanistan, i, i, 330, 338, 349, 350, 
351; elected King, 352; system of gov- 
ernment, 353; occupies Kabul, 353-354* 
his first invasion of the Punjab, 354- 
355; second invasion, 355; conspiracy 
against, 355-356; captures Herat and 
Meshed, 356; Nishapur captured, 356; 
signs treaty with Shah Rukh, 357; 
third invasion of the Punjab, 375; 



campaigns against the Marathas, 358 
et scq.j third battle of Panipat, 362; 
defeats the Sikhs, 366; his last invasion, 
366,367; death, 367; character, 367 

Ahmad (son and successor of Muhammad 
Shah), i, 355 

Ahmad (son of Ibrahim), i, 195 

Ahmad (Tagudar Oghlu, brother of 
Abaka), reign of, i, 238 

Ahura Mazda, i, 38 

Ahwaz, i, 125 

Aitchisons Treaties, i, 378 footnote, 380 
footnote, 388 footnote ; ii, 65 footnote 

Akaba, Gulf of, i, 119, 122 

Akbar, Emperor, i, 299$ ascends the 
throne, 3045 campaigns against the 
North-West Frontier tribes, 307; 
obtains possession of Kandahar, 307, 
3085 death, 309-310 

Akbar Khan, ii, 9, 13, 14 

Akbar Khan (son of Dost Muhammad), i, 
398; ii, 30, 31, 32, 34, 40; battle of 
Tezin, 50; 54} 57; 61; his ambitions 
and intrigues, 62, 63; death, 63, 64; 
treaty of Capitulation, 344-35 1 Ap- 
pendix B 

Akchah, i, 3695 ii, 63, 80 

Ak Darband, i, 335 

Akhsi, i, 277, 278, 279, 280 

Akkad, i, 20, 2 1 

Ak Mas] id, fort of, i, 290, 319; ii, 14, 39, 
46, 58, 85, 87, 108, 112 

Aktur Khan (son of Dost Muhammad), ii, 

2 3>44 

Alafrank (cousin of Uljaitu), i, 241 
Alamgir II, i, 358, 361 
Alam Khan (uncle of Sultan Ibrahim), i, 


Alamut, fortress of, i, 230, 231, 232 
Ala-ud-din, Juwayni, i, 218 footnote 
Ala-ud-Din, Muhammad, of Khwarizm: 
early career of, i, 216; defeats Muizz- 
ud-Din, 212-213, 220, 221; relations 
with Chenghiz Khan, 221; pursuit of, 
and death, 222 
Ala-ud-Din, the " World-burner ", i, 209; 

destruction of Ghazni, 210 
Ala-ud-Din (younger brother of Fakhr-ud- 

Din), i, 244 

Ala-ud-dola (nephew of Ulugh Beg), i, 269 
Albiruni, historian, i, 1 89 
Aleppo, i, 234, 240,261 
Alexander, Satrap of Persia, i, 84 
Alexander (son of Roxana), i, 71, 73 
Alexander the Great, i, 4, 7, 9; youth and 
accession of, 585 recognized by Hellas, 
58; destruction of Thebes, 59; battle 
of the Granicus, 59; conquers Asia 
Minor, 60; surrender of Sardes, 60; 
battle of Issus, 60-6 1; siege of Tyre, 
61; annexation of Egypt, 61; battle of 

Arbela, 62; marches on Babylon and 
Susa, 62; occupation of Persepolis and 
Pasargadae, 62-63$ pursuit and death 
of Darius Codomannus, 63; conquest 
of Hyrcania and Parthia, 63; march 
through Seistan and up the Helmand, 
64; passage of Hindu Kush and annexa- 
tion of Bactria, 64; advance to Jaxartes, 
65; Macedonian reverse, 65; capture 
of the Soghdian Rock, 65; descent to 
the plains of India, 66; passage of the 
Indus, 66; battle with Porus, 66-67; 
march to the Indian Ocean, 68; march 
from India to Susa, 68; death, 69; 
character, 70; destruction of his family, 
71 et seq., 75, 80; account fir, in the 
Shahnama, 124-125, 197, 203, 246, 

Alexandretta, Gulf of, i, 245 

Alexandria, i, 147, 248 

Alexandria Ariana, i, 9 

Alexandria Eschate (modern Khojent), i, 


Al-Hafar, i, 157 
AH, Caliph (son-in-law of the Prophet 

Muhammad), i, 285 

AH (son-in-law of the Prophet Muham- 
mad), i, 229 

AH (son of Masud I), i, 207 
AH Adil Shah II, i, 321 
AH Ahmad Jan, ii, 318, 320 
Ali bin Buwayhid, founder of Buwayid 

dynasty, i, 191 

AH Bin Isa, Governor, i, 177 
Alikhanoff, Colonel, Governor of Merv, 

ii, 162, 163 
AH Khel, ii, 112, 116 
AH Kuli Khan, Akbar's general, i, 304 
Ali Kuli Khan (the eldest son of Ibrahim 

Khan), i, 349 
Ali Mardan Khan, i, 314 
AH Riza, appointed heir-apparent, i, 179 

and footnote 
AH Tigin, i, 204 
Al-Kadir Billah, puppet Caliph, i, 187, 


Allahu Akbar range, i, 328 
Allah Verdi Khan, i, 323 
Allah Yar Khan (brother of Muhammad 

Khan Afghan), i, 330, 333 
Allis, battle of, i, 158 

Al-Mustakfi, Caliph, i, 191 > 

Alp Arslan, Seljuk, i, 206, 207, 208 
Alptigin, Governor of Nishapur, i, 184- 


Altai Mountains, i, 143 
Altuntash, Turkish Chief, i, 190 
Alumgir (Aurangzeb), i, 318 
Alum Khan, Mir, ii, 95, 125 
Alyattes, King of Lydia, i, 39 
Amanulla Khan, ii, 57 


Amanulla, King, accession of,ii, 2675 Third 
Afghan War, 270 et seq.; Peace Treaty 
of Rawalpindi, 284; Anglo- Afghan rela- 
tions after Peace Treaty, 287; Russo- 
Afghan Relations, 287; treaties of 
Afghanistan with Russia, Persia and 
Turkey, 291; Afghan Mission to 
Europe, 292; institutes reforms, 295 
et seq. ; seven months' journey during 
which he visited Bombay, 303; Egypt, 
303$ Italy, 304; Paris, 304; Berlin, 
305; England, 305; Russia, 307} 
Turkey, 307; Persia, 308; his abdica- 
tion, 313; hoists the royal standard at 
Kandahar, 315; his last attempt to 
regain* the throne, 3165 leaves India 
and sails for Europe, 317; summary, 


Amasis, King of Egypt, i, 45, 46 
Ambala, ii, 77 

Amida (modern Diarbekr), i, 131, 138 
Amin (son of Zubayda), i, 178 
Amir Abdur Rahman, i, 10 
Amir Khan, Governor of Kabul, i, 320, 

3 22 
Ammon (modern Siwa oasis), visited by 

Alexander the Great, i, 61 
Ampe, i, 50 
Amritsar, i, 364, 386 
Amr-ul-Lais, Saffar, i, 182, 183 
Amu Daria (the Oxus), River, i, 7, 10 
Anahita, Persian Goddess of Fecundity, i, 

85; temple of, 94 
Anandpal (son of Jaipal), i, 189 
Anatolia, i, 41, 265 
Ancyra, i, 177 
Anderab, i, 156, 259 
Andijan, i, 271, 277, 278, 279 
Andkhui, i, 7, 213, 341; ii, 63 
Anglo- Afghan Treaty of 1855, ii, 65 
Anglo-Persian Treaty of 1853, ii, 65 
Anglo-Persian War of 1857, ii, 66 
Anglo-Russian Agreement, Articles of, 

affecting Afghanistan, ii, 356-357, 

Appendix E 
Anglo-Russian Boundary Commission of 

1895, ii, 1 8 1 et seq. 
Anglo-Russian Convention, 1907, ii, 231- 

Angora (now Ankara), battle of, i, 262, 


^.ngna, i, 324 
Anshan, vide Anzan 

An-Sih, Chinese name for Parthia, i, 105 
Antalcidas, King, i, 101 
Antalcidas, the Peace of, i, 56 
Antigonus, ruler of Phrygia, i, 72, 73, 74; 

campaigns of, 76; death, 76; 78 
Antigonus Gonatas (son of Demetrius), i, 

79, 80 
Antigonus (nephew of Hyrcanus), i, 1 1 1 

Antimachus, Governor of Herat, i, 93 

Antioch, i, 76, 81, 84, 87, 93, in, 114, 
122, 126; sack of, by Noshirwan, 
140-141, 146, 206, 248 

Antiochus Hierax, Seleucid Prince, i, 81, 
82, 126 

Antiochus I (Soter), i, 75, 765 defeats the 
Gauls, 78-90; death, 80 

Antiochus II (Theos), i, 80, 81 

Antiochus III (the Great), i, 84; cam- 
paigns in the East, 84-85; march 
through Bactria to the Kabul Valley, 
85, 86; defeated at Thermopylae, 86; 
battle of Magnesia, 86; Peace of 
Apamea, 86; death, 86; 89, 90, 103 

Antiochus IV (Epiphanes), i, 91; retreats 
from Egypt, 92, 93; last years and 
death, 93-94 and footnote 

Antiochus VII, Sidetes, i, 96, 99 

Antipater, King of Macedonia and Hellas, 

*' ? 2 73 
Antony, Mark: battle of Philippi, i, in; 

expedition against Parthia, 112; cam- 
paigns in Armenia, 112-113 

Anushtigin (favourite cup-bearer of Malik 
Shah), founder of dynasty of Khiva, i, 

Anzan (or Anshan), district of, i, 30, 37, 38 

Aornos, i, 66 

Apama (daughter of Spitamenes), i, 72 

Apamea, i, in, 142 

Apamea, Peace of, i, 86 

Apa-Sakae, the, i, 83 

Apis, sacred bull, i, 57 

Apollodorus, i, 100 

Apollodotus, Satrap of Sind, i, 91, 94 

Apollonia, i, 85 

Arabia, i, 20, 48, 178 

Arabs: firat invasion of Persian Empire, i, 
158; campaign in Syria, 158; conquest 
of Persia, 159; further campaigns in 
Central Asia, 159; Civil war, 160; 
campaigns of Kutayba, 161 et seq.\ 
embassy to China, 164; advance to the 
Indus, 165; battle of the " Day of 
Thirst", 1 66, 167; rebellion of Harith 
ibnSuraj, 167; recovery of Transoxiana, 
1 68; campaigns of Nasr ibn Sayyar, 168 

Arachosia (modern Kandahar), i, 8, 44, 64, 

Aral, Sea of, i, 7, 1 84; Russian advance to, 


Aramaeans, the invasion of, i, 28 
Arang (Jaxartes), River, i, 34 
Ararat, vide Urartu, Kingdom of 
Aras, i, 333 
Aras, River, i, 256 
Arbela, battle of, i, 62 
Arcadius, Emperor, i, 1 3 3 
Ardawan (classical Artabanus), i, 125 
Ardeshir, i, 117, 121; founder of Sasanian 



dynasty, 125; overthrows Ardawan, 
125; defeats Severus Alexander, 125- 
126; invades Armenia, 126; death, 126 

Ardeshir Dirazdast, vide Artaxerxes I 

Ardeshir II, i, 133 

Areia (or Aria), i, 90 

Areobindus, the Goth, Roman champion, 

i 134 

Argaum, i, 375 

Arghandab, River, i, 7, n, 316, 325 

Arghun, Shah Husayn, the ruler of Sind, i, 

Arghun, Zun-Nun Beg, i, 283 

Arghun (eldest son of Abaka), reign of, i, 
238, 247 

Argos, i, 56 

Argyll, Duke of, Secretary of State for 
India, ii, 99, 100, 106 footnote, 108 

Ariaramnes, King (son of Teispes), i, 38, 

Ariaspae, the, i, 64 

Ariobarzanes, King of Cappadocia, i, 104 

Aristagoras, Governor of Miletus, i, 49 

Aristotle, i, 58, 70, 199 

Arius (Hari Rud), i, 89 

Ariyaruk, Governor of the Punjab, i, 193 

Armenia, i, 18, 19, 44, 55, 93 j relations 
withParthia, 105; Antony's campaigns, 
1 12; struggle for, by Rome and Parthia, 
113; and Trajan, 114; evacuation of, 
by Hadrian, 1155 conquest by Ardeshir, 
126; seized by Tiridates, 129; treaty 
with Rome, 1 30; partition of, i 3 3, 1 77; 
invasion of, by Golden Horde, 236, 
248; conquered by Tamerlane, 256 

Armorium, fortress of, i, 1 80 

Arnold, Matthew, i, 200 

Arrian, i, 8, 58, 68 

Arsaces of Armenia, 1,131 

Arsaces I, founder of the Parthian Empire, 

Arsaces II, vide Tiridates 

Arsaces III, i, 85 

Arsacid dynasty, foundation of, i, 83 

Arsinoe (daughter of Ptolemy), i, 77, 78 

Arslan (son of Masud III), i, 208, 246 

Arslan (Israil: son of Seljuk), i, 204 

Artabanus II, King of Parthia, i, 99 

Artabanus V, King of Parthia, i, 116 

Artacoana, i, 64 

Artakhohayarsha, vide Artaxerxes I 

Artavasdes, King of Armenia, i, 108, 112, 

Artaxata, capital of Armenia, i, 106, 107, 

Artaxerxes I (Longimanus), reign of, i, 52 

Artaxerxes II, i, 54-56 

Artaxerxes III, accession of, i, 5^'S7> 
Egypt finally conquered, 56-57$ murder 
of, 57 

Artemisium, i, 5 1 

Arukku (eldest son of Cyrus I), i, 38 

Aryans, the, i, 13, 15, 28, 465 coming of 
the, 33; original home of, 335 first 
migration into India, 34$ effect of 
immigration into Iran, 41; founded 
Ecbatana, 41; architecture and culture 
of, 41, 83 

Aryenis (daughter of Alyattes), i, 40 

Asad, Governor of Khurasan, i, 168 

Asaf Jah, i, 323 

Ashraf Khan, Abdali : released from prison, 
i, 327; defeats Turks, 327$ faced with 
grave crisis, 328, 3295 Nadir decides 
to march against, 331 

Asia, ii, 102 * 

Asia Minor, i, 48, 49; Peace of Antal- 
cidas, 56; 77, 86, 87, 104, 112, 146, 
177, 203, 204, 234, 245, 249, 261 

Asii, vide Yueh-chi 

Askari, Mirza (brother of Humayun), i, 
297, 298, 300 

Asmar, ii, 170, 171, 175 

Asoka, i, 75, 97 

Assassins, the, i, 229 et *eq.\ extirpation 
of, in Khurasan and Northern Persia, 
231-232; 246 

Assaye, battle of, i, 375 

Assur, god, i, 32 

Assur (modern Kala Shergat), i, 27, 28, 38, 

Assurbanipal, King of Assyria, i, 22, 30- 

32, 38 

Assyria, i, 17, 29, 30; treaty with 
Kassite monarch, 26; becomes inde- 
pendent state, 28; conquest of Babylon, 
26-27, 28; invasion by Aramaean tribes, 
28; old Assyrian Empire, 28} Middle 
Kingdom, 28; New Kingdom, 29} 
first fought Elam, 295 Sargon II, 29; 
battle of Durilu, 29; Esarhaddon, 30, 
355 Assurbanipal, 30-325 raids and 
conquers western portion of Iranian 
plateau, 35; Scythian invasion, 36} fall 
of Nineveh, 395 verdict of history, 39 

Astauene, district of, i, 90 

Astrabad, i, 63, 193, 201, 271, 277, 332, 

Astrakhan, i, 258 

As ty ages (or Ishtuvegu: son of Cyaxares), 
i, 39, 40, 42 

Ata Malik-i-Juwayni, historian, i, 232 % 

Ata Muhammad, Governor of Kashmir, i, 

icns, i, 49, 585 expedition against, 505 
capture of, 515 ally of Persia, 56; 72, 
105, 114 

Atrek, River, i, 82, 90 

Atropatene (modern Azerbaijan), province 
of, i, 39 

Atsiz, Khwarizm Shah, i, 215, 216 



Attalus of Pergamum, i, 82, 86 

Atta Muhammad Khan, Naivab, mission 
of, ii, 104. 

Attica, i, 50 

Attock, i, 7, 66, 288 

Auckland, Lord, Governor- General of 
India, i, 398, 4.01, 405; his reply to 
Burnes, 406-4.07; ii, i, 2, 3; instruc- 
tions on retreat from Kabul, 22 et seq.\ 


Augustus, Emperor (Octavian), i, 101, 
in, 112; restoration of Roman 
standards, 113 

Aurangzeb, i, 315, 316, 317; wins fight 
for power, 318, 320$ death, 321, 322, 

Aurelius, Marcus (Aurelian), 1,115, 128 

Avaria, i, 348 

Avars, the, i, 134, 147, 148 

Avesta, the, i, 46, 48 

Avicenna (Abu Ali bin Sina), i, 198 

Avitabile, General, Italian governor of the 
Peshawar district, ii, 38, 39, 46, 58 

Ayaz, Mahmud's favourite slave, i, 193 

Ayn Jalut, battle of, i, 234 

Ayub Khan (son of Shir Ali), ii, 76, 81, 
101, 138; battle of Maiwand, 142; 
siege of Kandahar, 146, 1475 again 
attacks Kandahar, 153; defeated by 
Abdur Rahman, 154; the final settle- 
ment of, in India, 155 

Ayub Mirza (son of Timur Shah), i, 392 

Azam, son of Bahadur Shah, i, 323 

Azerbaijan, i, 159, 258, 260, 268, 269, 

270, 333 

Azes I, Saka Chief, i, 101 

Azileses, Saka Chief, i, 101 

Azim Khan, Governor of Kurram, ii, 715 

rebellion of, 72-73, 74, 75; fall of, 76; 

flight towards Zurmat, 77; 122, 124 
Azud-ad-Daula, Buwayhid Prince, i, 191- 


Baba Ali Beg of Abivard, i, 328 

Baba Nanak, the founder of the Sikh sect, 

i, 364 

Baba Wali Pass, ii, 44 
Baber, Zahir-ud-Din Muhammad, i, 268, 

271, 274; ancestors of, 276; early 
difficulties of, 277; defeated by the 
Uzbegs, 278; fails to recover his king- 
dom, 279; captures Kabul, 280; his 
first raid to the Indus, 281; the plot 
at Kabul, 282-283$ captures Kandahar, 
284; second raid towards India, 284, 
2855 and Shah Ismail, 286; defeat of 
the Uzbegs at Pul-i-Sanghin, 286; 
defeated by Uzbegs at Kul-i-Malik, 
287; final defeat of, at Ghazdavan, 287; 
First Indian Expedition, 288; campaign 
against the Yusufzais, 290; Fourth 

Indian Expedition, 290-291} Fifth 
Indian Expedition, 291} battle of 
Panipat, 291-292$ battle of Kanwa, 
294; battle of the Gogra, 294, 295$ 
death, 295; 296, 314 

Bab Salimeti, port of, i, 29 

Babylon, i, 28, 40, 41; the first dynasty, 
23 j the second dynasty, 2 3-24 j the 
Kassite dynasty, 26; capture and sack 
of, by Sennacherib, 305 fall of, 445 
march on, by Cyrus the Younger, 54; 
reoccupation by Seleucus, 74, 76, 93, 
108, 115 

Babylonia, i, 17, 19, 22, 25, 28, 29, 30; 
invasion by Aramaean tribes, 28} 
Sennacherib's campaign against, 29-30; 
new kingdom of, 38 

Bacon, Roger, i, 229 

Bactra, capital of Bactria, i, 64, 88, 90 

Bactria (modern Afghan Turkistan), i, 6, 
44, 47, 63; annexed by Alexander the 
Great, 64-65; revolt of, 71-72; 74, 
85, 88 et seq., 93, 94, 95, 98; conquest 
of, by the Yueh-chi, 100 

Badakhshan (classical Bactria), i, 2, 10, 
12, 44, 152, 221, 225, 246, 259, 297, 
300, 301, 305; Akbar agrees to reten- 
tion of, by Abdulla Khan, 307; Akbar 
thinks of recovering, 308; Goes 
traverses, 309; ruled by Janid dynasty, 

3 J 3 3 r 5 3 l6 3 l8 > 357> I2 7 
Badghis, district of, i, 236, 244 
Badia-az-Zaman (son of Sultan Husayn), 

i, 282, 283 

Badr Khan, lord of Samarkand, i, 214 
Bagh, ii, 275 
Baghavand, i, 336 
Baghdad, i, 19; foundation of, 174, 178, 

179, 180, 183, 191, 205, 206, 217, 227; 

capture and sack of, by Mongols, 232; 

Baghdad Khatun (daughter of Regent Amir 

Chupan), i, 242 
Bagoas, the eunuch, i, 57 
Bahadur Shah: reign of, i, 323; death, 

3^3i 3H 

Bahadur Shah of Gujarat, i, 297, 298 
Baha-ud-Din Sam, Governor of Ghur, i, 


Bahawalpur, ii, 5 
Bahman, known as Artaxerxes Longi- 

manus, i, 124 
Bahram, Chubin, Persian general, i, 144, 

Bahram Gur, i, 134; campaigns against 

white Huns, 135; expedition into India, 

135; character, 136 

Bahram (son of Masud III), i, 208 et seq. 
Bahram I, i, 128 

Bahram II, early campaigns of, i, 128 
Bahram IV, i, 133 


Baikal, Lake, i, 219 

Bairam Khan, Humayun's general, i, 303, 


Baisungur, Mirxa t i, 271, 273, 277, 278 

Bajaur, i, 2885 ii, 170, 171 

Bajgah, ii, 15, 19, 72 

Baji Rao, i, 324 

Baker, General Sir Thomas, ii, 117 

Bakharz, i, 330 

Bakhtiari Mountains, i, 19 

Bakhtiaris, i, 337 

Bakht-un-Nisa Begum , i, 305 

Baki Muhammad, i, 313 

Baku, i, 243, 285, 327 

Bala Hissar, the, ii, 27, 28, 29, 30, 45, 56, 
61, 63, 74, 114, 116, 118 

Balaji Vishvanath, i, 324 

Balas, Sasanian King, i, 137 

B a If our, Lady Betty, ii, 98, 103 footnote, 
1 10 footnote 

Balkash, Lake, ii, 86 

Balkatigin of Ghazni, i, 186 

Balkh, i, 10, 122, 125, 127, 137, 143, 152, 
!53 X 59 * *>o, *6i> 167, 169, 181, 183, 
186, 188, 193, 194, 196, 203, 215, 
222, 225, 246, 249, 250, 255, 264, 
277, 278, 286, 287, 301, 305, 307, 308, 

3'3 3H 3i5 3i g ' 34i 344 345> 
35736 9 , 371,392; ii, n, 13 

Baluchi 8, i, 4 

Baluchistan, deserts of, i, i, 25, 26, 44, 

22 7> 37i 3*6,3*7* 359>39 2 
Bam, i, 337 
Bamian or Bamiyan, i, 7, 15, 153, 168, 

223,224, 314; ii, 55 
Bampur, i, 68 
Bandan, ii, 201, 208, 213 
Bandar Abbas, i, 337; ii, 94 
Bannu, i, 281, 295 
Baonat, district of, i, 69 
Barakzai brothers, ii, 7, 8 
Barka Khan, Chief of the Golden Horde, 

defeated by Hulaku, i, 235 
Barka tulla, Indian seditionist, ii, 287 
Barkiyaruk, brother of Sultan Sanjar, i, 

Barlas, Haji, of Kesh (modern Shahr-i- 

Sabz), i, 252, 253 
Barmak, Zoroastrian priest, i, 169 
Barmecides, the, i, 170, 176} fail of, 177 
Barrow, General Sir George, ii, 272 
Barsaentes, Satrap of Drangiana or 

Zarangiana (later Seistan), i, 64 
Bar-Soma, Mission to Europe, i, 238-239 
Barygaza (Broach), port of, i, 91, 97, 122 
Basra,!, 174 
Batu (Mongol general), founder of the 

Golden Horde, i, 228 
Batum, i, 104 

Bayan Kuii, the puppet Khan, i, 252 
Bayan Selduz, i, 252 

Bayazid (the " Thunderbolt "), Sultan of 
Turkey, defeated by Tamerlane, i, 261- 

Baybars Bandukdar of Egypt, i, 234 and 
footnote\ battle of Abulistin, 237 

Baydu (cousin of Gaykhatu), i, 239 

Bazar Valley, i, 341 

Bazh (modern Faz), village, i, 199 

Beaconsfield, Lord (Disraeli), ii, iQifoot- 
note\ policy in Asia, 102; 106, 108, 133 

Beazley, Dr. Raymond, i, 218 footnote 

Begjit, Amir, i, 253 

Behistun inscription, i, 83 

Beirut, i, 28 

Belisarius, Roman general, i, 1395 cam- 
paigns of, 141 

Bellew, Dr., i, 1 3 

Belshazzar, son of Nabonidus, i, 45 

Benares, i, 118, 194, 288 

Benckendorff, Count, ii, 232 

Benderski, M., Russia's Chief Survey 
Officer on Anglo-Russian Commission 
of 1895, ii, 181 

Benedict Goes, i, 308, 309 

Bengal, i, 214, 296, 305 

Beni Temim, a Yemen tribe, i, 162 

Berenice (daughter of Ptolemy Phil- 
adelphus), i, 80 

Berenice (wife of Ptolemy), i, 78 

Berowski, Russian general, i, 410 

Bessus, Satrap of Bactria, i, 63-64; cap- 
ture of, and death, 65 

Bevan, Edwyn R., i, 71 

Beveridge, Annette, i, 2j6footnotej 287, 
296 footnote 

Beyik Pass, ii, 182 

Bezabde, i, 1 3 1 

Bhagavand, i, 335 

Bharatpur, i, 360 

Bhatinda, i, 212 

Bhim, Raja, i, 211 

Bhira, i, 289, 290, 293, 297 

Biddulph, Sir Michael, ii, 1 10 

Bihzad, Kamal ad-din, Persian painter, 

Bikni, Mount (Demavend), " the Lapis 
Lazuli Mountain ", i, 35 

Bindusura (son of Chandragupta), i, 75 

Bismarck, Prince, ii, 162 

Bistam, i, 250 

Bisutun, i, 44 

Bithynia, i, 105 

Bizapur, 320, 321 

Black Sea, i, 55, 104, 107, 143, 235 

Boghaz-Koy, i, 3 3; tablets of " Kikkuli of 
Mitannu " discovered at, 34 

Bolan Pass, i, 34, 345, 372; ii, 5, 106, 1 10 

Borak (son of Chagatay), invades Khur- 
asan, i, 236, 237 

Bosnia and Herzegovina, ii, 106 

Bosphorus, Kingdom of the, i, 104 



Bosphorus, The, i, 146, 147, 176 

Boundary Commissions, ii, 99; the Pamir 
Commission, 178-183; Udny Com- 
mission, 183-186; settlement of Moh- 
mand boundary, 186; demarcation of 
boundary in vicinity of Arandu, 186; 
delimitation of the Kurram Valley, 
187; boundary of Waziristan, 187 

Bourquin, French general, i, 375 

Bozai Gumbaz, ii, 179, 180 

Brahuis, i, 4 

Bravine, Bolshevist representative at 
Kabul, ii, 287 

Briggs, John, i, 186 footnote, 195 footnote, 
209 footnote 

Bright,^Gieral, i, 117 

British Baluchistan, i, 3, 1 1 

British Mission at Herat, ii, 103; Shir 
Ali declines to receive, 104; despatch 
of, to Kabul, 107 

British Mission at Kabul, ii, 1 1 3; restores 
Kandahar and Jalalabad to Amir, 114; 
Amir agrees to receive, 1 14; retribution 
for murderers of, 1 1 6 

British Mission of Alexander Burnes 
(1837), i, 401 etseq. 

Broadfoot, Captain William, 11, 28 

Broadfoot, Major George, at siege of 
Jalalabad, ii, 40-41 

Brooke, Brigadier-General, ii, 146 

Browne, E. G., i, 171 footnote, 198 footnote, 
199 footnote, 203, 204, 233, 243 foot- 
note, 244, 252 footnote, 261 footnote, 

Browne, Sir Sam, ii, no; advances up 
Khaibar Pass, 112; advances to Jalala- 
bad, 112; British force of, broken up, 


Brussa, i, 262 
Brutus, i, 1 1 1 
Brydon, Dr., ii, 36, 40 
Buddha, i, 120, 153, 154 
Buddhism, I, 75; transformation of, 120, 

Buddhists, massacres of, by Mihirakula, 

Budiabad, village of, ii, 54 

Buhlul Khan, Sultan of Delhi, i, 288 

Bukhara, i, 15, 160, 161, 162, 165, 173, 

183, 185, 198, 203, 204, 221, 226, 237, 


JNadir Shah's campaign against, 345, 

347; ii, 8, 80, 86, 97 

Bukkur, ii, 5, 6 

Bulughan (wife of Arghun), i, 247 

Bundelkand, i, 288, 324 

Buner, i, 155 

Burak Hajib, i, 227 and footnote 

Burj-i-Dada, i, 338 

Burkhan-Khaldun, mountain of, i, 226 

Burn, Sir Richard, i, 88 footnote 


Burnes, Captain (brother of Sir Alexander 
Burnes), ii, 28 

Burnes, Captain (later Sir) Alexander: 
Mission of, i, 401 et seq.; envoy to Dost 
Muhammad, 401-402; Kohandil Khan 
and, 402; Lord Auckland's reply to 
recommendations of, 406; ii, 3, 7; 
murdered at Kabul, 27 

Burrard, Colonel S. G., i, 4, $ footnote 

Burrows, Brigadier-General G. R. S., ii, 

Burujird, i, 257 

Bushire, i, 27, 87; ii, 66 

Bust, i, 189, 196; destruction of, by Ala- 
ud-Din, 210, 337 

Buwayhid (or Daylamite) dynasty, i, 191, 

Buyr-Nur Tartars, i, 219 

Byron, Robert, i, ibj footnote, 275 

Byzantium, i, 128, 142, 176 

Cadusian cavalry, i, 55 
Caesar, Julius: fight for power with 
Pompey, i, no; assassinated, in 
Caesarea Mazaca, i, 127 
Cairo, i, 235, 240, 248, 261 
Callias, Peace of, i, 53 
Cambay, Gulf of, i, 91 
Cambyses I, King, i, 40-41 
Cambyses II, conquest of Egypt, i, 45-46 
Cameron, G. G., i, 17 footnote, 23 foot- 
note, 37 footnote 

Campbell, general of Shah Shuja, i, 396; 
Abdur Rahman's training under, ii, 121; 
death, 122 
Capisa, i, 44 

Cappadocia, i, 39, 44, 73, 76, 104 
Capperstam, i, 308 
Caracalla, Emperor, i, 116 
Carchemish, i, 40 
Carduchi (Kurds), the, i, 55 
Carmat, Ismaili leader, i, 230 
Carmathian sect, i, 188 
Carpini, John de Piano, mission to the 

Mongols, i, 229 

Carrhae, i, 62; battle of, 108, 129 
Carthage, i, 103, 147 
Carus, Emperor, campaign of, and death, 

i, 129 

Caspian Gates, i, 63, 84, 93 
Caspians, i, 19, 33, 48 
Caspian Sea, i, 6, 7, 83, 107, 119, 191, 

222, 228 

Cassander, i, 73, 74, 76, 77 
Cassius, Longinus, Roman general, i, 


Cassius Avidius, campaigns of, i, 115 
Cathay, i, 308 

Caucasus, the, i, 136, 141, 258, 336 
Cavagnari, Major Sir Louis: letters of, ii, 
113; disregards treacherous behaviour of 



Yakub, 114} reaches Kabul as British 
envoy, 114; Afghan troops ask him to 
pay them, 115; murder of, 116 

Cavendish-Bentinck, Lord William, i, 395 

Cecil, Lady Gwendolen, ii, 69 footnote, 
101 footnote 

Chaeronea, battle of, i, 58, 105 

Chagai, i, 4; ii, 172,207 

Chagatay, 1,234, 276 

Chagatay dynasty of Transoxiana, the, i, 

Chaghanian, i, 165 

Chakir Beg Daud, i, 194, 205, 207, 208 

Chalcedon, i, 147, 148 

Chaldeans, i, 29; Sennacherib's expedition 
against, 29 

Chaldiran, i, 312 

Chaman, ii, 202 

Chamberlain, General Sir Neville, ii, 107; 
ordered to advance, 108; mission 
stopped by Afghans, 108 

Champaner, i, 298 

Chanda, i, 320 

Chandragupta (Sandracottus), i, 75 

Chang-an, i, 156 

Chang Kien, Chinese explorer, i, 98 

Charasia, battle of, ii, 117, 3 21 

Charikar, i, 64, 251, 301, 3165 ii, 29, 57 

Charjui, i, 345, 347> 8o 

Chaucer, i, 93, 95, 246 

Chauth,\, 321, 324 

ChehelZina, i, 316 

Chenab, River, i, 289, 290, 311 

Chenghiz Khan (Temuchin): rise of, i, 
219; relations with Muhammad of 
Khwarizm, 221; invades Transoxiana, 
2215 devastation of Khurasan, 2225 
campaigns against Jalal-ud-Din, 223- 
225; return to Mongolia, 225; death 
and character of, 226-227; 250, 251, 
Chikishliar, ii, 86 

Childe, V. Gordon, i, 17 footnote, 24 
China, i, 97, 9 8 i despatch of Chinese 
missions to the West, 99; early inter- 
course with Parthia, 105$ Chinese 
authority re-established in Central Asia, 
1 19; authority of, established to Caspian 
Sea, 119; relations with Persia, 140; 
founding of the T'ang dynasty, 149, 
229, 309; Marco Polo's journey to, 

245; H, i79 l82 
Chinese Empire, i, 2, 265 
Chinese Turkistan, i, 184, 185, 217, 247 
Chin-Shih Huang-Ti, i, 97 
Chionites, vide Huns 
Chishpish (or Teispes, son of Achaemenes), 


Chitor, 1,297 . 

Chitral, i, 13; ii, 17* 17*5 8ie 8 e of l8 * 


Chorasmia, i, 44 

Chormaghun, Mongol general, i, 227 

Chosroes, vide Noshirwan 

Chosroes of Armenia, i, 126 

Chosroes II, vide Khusru Parviz 

Chotiali, i, 317 

Christianity: persecution by Shapur the 
Great, i, 133; favoured treatment by 
Yezdigird, 133; persecution of Chris- 
tians by Bahram Gur, 1 345 the " True 
Cross " carried off by Khusru Parviz, 

Chuki (daughter of Muhammad Husayn 
Khan Kajar), i, 350 

Chunar, fortress of, i, 298 

Chupan, Amir, Regent of Abu ^idf i, 2425 
rebellion and death, 2425 244 

Chu Wentai, Governor of Turfan, i, 151 

Cilicia, i, 77, 104, 107 

Cilician Gates, i, 60, 78 

Cimmerians, the, i, 38 

Circesium, i, 132, 14$ 

Clavijo, Ruy Gonzalez di, on embassy to 
the Court of Tamerlane, i, 263, 264 

Clearchus, Spartan general, i, $4 

Clement, Pope, i, 241 

Cleopatra, sister of Alexander the Great, 

' ? 2 r 

Clerk, George, Lieutenant-Governor ot 

the North- West Provinces, ii, 38 
Cocachin, Princess, i, 247, 248 
Coele-Syria, i, 74, 77, 81, 84, 92 
Colvin, John, Private Secretary to Lord 

Auckland, i, 405 

Colvin, Sir Auckland, i, 406 footnote 
Congress of Berlin, ii, 106 
Connolly, Captain, ii, 54 
Constantia, i, 144 
Constantine, Emperor, i, 130 
Constantinople, i, 143, 144, 146, 147, 148; 

siege of, by Khusru Parviz, 147-148; 

238, 249, 262; ii, 102 
Constantius, Emperor, i, 130, 131 
Corbulo, Roman general, i, 1 1 3 
Corcyra, i, 85 
Corduene, i, 106 
Corinth, i, 56 
Corus, plain of, i, 78 
Cosmas Indicopleustes, Egyptian monk, i, 

8l r 39 

Cotton, Brigadier Sydney, ii, 71 
Cotton, General Sir Willoughby, ii, 6, i^, 


Co well, Prof., i, 200 
Cox, Major (later Sir) Percy, ii, 249 
Cracow, i, 228 
Cranbrook, Lord, Secretary of State for 

India, ii, 108 
Crassus, Marcus Licinius, Proconsul of 

Syria, i, 107; invasion of Parthia, 107- 

108; battle of Carrhae, 109 



Craterus, Macedonian general, i, 67, 68, 
69, 72, 8$ 

Crocker, Brigadier-General G. F., in the 
Third Afghan War, ii, 274, 275 

Croesus, King of Lydia, i, 43, 44 

Ctesiphon, i, 1 1 5, 116, 127, 128, 129,132, 
142, 148 

Cunaxa, battle of, i, 54 

Cunningham, J. D., i, 386 footnote, 387 
footnote, 393 footnote, 394 footnote 

Curzon, Honourable George, i, 7 footnote 

Curzon, Lord, i, 2665 ii, 196, 216-224; 
receives Afghan Mission in London, 
292, 293 

Cutch, province of, i, 101; n, 4 

Cyaxarfcs (JJvakhshatra), King of Media, i, 
37; subjugates Scythians, 37; forms 
alliance with Nabopolassar, 38; first 
assault on Nineveh, 39; final assault and 
fall of Nineveh, 39; Battle of the 
Eclipse, 39-40; death, 40; 83 

Cynoscephalae, battle of, i, 86 

Cyprus, i, 53, 56, 80 

Cyra, i, 44 

Cyriadis, Roman pretender, i, 127 

Cyrus the Great, i, 32, 41, 48} defeats 
Astyages, 43; rise of, 43; King of 
Medes and Persians, 43; invasion of 
Lydia, 43; Eastern campaigns, 44; con- 
quest of Babylon, 44; cylinder of, 44; 
death, 45; character, 45; 83 

Cyrus, the Younger i, 54; march on 
Babylon, 54; battle of Cunaxa, 54-55 

Dacia, i, 114 

Dadur, ii, 6 

Daghestan, i, 333; Nadir Shah's cam- 
paign, 347 

Dahae, the, i, 83 

Dakka, i, 7; ii, 275 

Damascus, i, 158, 240, 249, 261 

Dames, M. Longworth, i, i footnote, 16 

Damghan, district of, i, 63, 331 

Dane, Sir Louis, i, 351 footnote; ii, 120 
footnote; his mission to Kabul, 218-224; 
355, Appendix D 

Daniel, Book of, 1,91 

Daniyal, Prince, i, 309 

Danube, River, i, 48, 49, 58 

Daphne, i, 93 

Dara, i, 139, 144, I45 H 6 

Dara Shukoh, i, 317, 318 

Dara the First, i, 124-125 

Darband (now Derbent), i, 136, 141, 243, 

Darius the Great, ii, 38; the reign of, 
46; institutes satrapies, 46; Scythian 
campaign, 48; Thrace annexed, 48; 
Indian campaign, 48; 49, 88 

Darius II (Darius Nothus), i, 53 

Darius III (Codomannus), accession of, i, 

57, 59; defeat of, at battle of Issus, 
60-6 1 ; defeat of, at battle of Arbela, 
62; pursuit of, and death, 63; 149 
Darmesteter, James, i, 16 
Darragaz, i, 328 
Dasht-i-Margo, i, 10 
Dastagird, the sack of, i, 148 
Dattaji Sindia, Maratha Chief, i, 360 
Daulat Khan, Governor of the Punjab, i, 

288, 289, 290-291 
Dayaukku (Deioces), King of Media, i, 


Daylam, i, 176, 191 
Debevoise, Neilson, i, 71, 105 footnote 
Debul, port of, i, 165 

Deccan, i, 75; importance of presence of 
Akbar in, 308; Abbas intrigues with 
rulers of, 312; Asaf Jah retires to his 
province of, 323; Angria secures right 
of collecting the chauth in, 324; 359 
Deeg, battle of, i, 376 
Definitive Treaty, i, 380 
de Giers, M., ii, 127, 165, 168 
Deioces, King of Media, i, 35 
de Langele, Galfridus, mission to Mongol 

Court, i, 239 
Delhi, i, 287, 288, 292, 298, 302, 303, 

304, 324, 341, 358, 361 
Delhi, battle of, i, 260 
Delos, League of, i, 53 
Delphi, i, 91 

Demavend, Mount, i, 35 
Demetrius, Poliorcetes: battle of Gaza, i, 
74; raid on Babylon, 74, 76; battle of 
Ipsus, 76; overthrow of, 77; death, 78 
Demetrius Soter (son of Seleucus IV), i, 


Demetrius I (Invinctus), King of Bactria: 
campaigns of, i, 90, 91; the empire of, 

9 1 
Demetrius II (son of Demetrius Invinctus), 

i, 90, 93,94 
Demetrius II, Nikator (son of Soter), i, 95, 


de Morgan, i, 22, 27 
Denison, Sir William, ii, 72 
Dera Ghazi Khan, i, 317 
Diarbekir, i, 206, 285 
Dilavar Khan (Madad Khan), i, 368, 369 
Dilshad A^a (daughter of Kamar-ud-Din), 

'' 2 5? 
Diocletian, Emperor, campaigns of, i, 129 

Diodotus of Bactria, i, 85 

Diodotus I, Satrap of Bactria-Sogdiana, i, 


Diodotus II, i, 89 

Diogenes Romanus, Emperor, i, 206 
Dipalpur, i, 290, 303 
Dir, i, 3 
Dirgam (modern Gokchah) River, i, 215 

and footnote 

3 88 


Diu, port of, i, 298 

Dizabul, Khakan of the Turks, i, 143 

Dizful, i, 257 

Dobbs, Henry (later Sir Henry), chief 
British representative at Mussoorie 
Conference, ii, 288; Mission to Kabul, 
290 et ieq.\ Treaty with Afghanistan, 
364-369, Appendix H 

D'Ohsson, Mouradja, i, 218 footnote 

Dokuz Khatun (wife of Hulaku Khan), i, 

2 35 

Domandi, ii, 201; arrival of the British 
Commission at, 203 

Dost Muhammad, Amir, i, 386, 390$ 
policy of, 395-396; battle of Kandahar, 
396; attacks the Sikhs, 397; appeals to 
Lord Auckland, 398; mission of Burnes 
to, 401, 403 et seq.$ First Afghan War, 
ii, i et seq.\ his defeat in September 
1840, 19} reappears in the Kuhistan, 
19; his surrender, 20; the second reign 
of, 6 1 et seq.') quells the Ghilzai revolts, 
63, 64; annexes Kandahar, 65; Second 
British Treaty with, 66, 67; captures 
Herat and dies, 67, 68; his sons, 71; 
122, 123 

Drangiana, i, 44 

Dufferin, Lord, ii, 127, 164 

Duhamel, General, i, 407 

Dukak, Timuryaligh, Seljuk Chief, i, 204 

Dukchi, ii, 167 

Duki, i, 317 

Dungi, King of Ur, i, 22 

Dura-Europus, i, 1 1 5 

Durand, Sir Henry, i, 395; ii, 3, 10; 
'* Durand Medal ", n; 13,21,26,27, 
38 footnote, 41 

Durand, Mortimer (later Sir Mortimer), 
Indian Foreign Secretary, ii, 160; 
Mission to Kabul, 173 et seq,\ 239, 
352-354, Appendix C 

Durilu, the battle of, i, 29 

Durrani Empire, i, 8 

Durrani tribe, i, 8; rise of, to the throne, 

35H 353> "',22,42,43 
Dyer, Brigadier-General R. H. F., at 

relief of Thai, ii, 279 
Dyracchium, i, 85 

Ea-gamil, King of Babylon, i, 24, 26 
Eannatum, King of Lagash, i, 215 defeated 

Elamite invasion, 21 
Eastern Tartary, i, 185 
East India Company, Board of Control of: 

realizes Russia's aggressive spirit, ii, i; 

instructions, 2; 65 

Ecbatana, i, 39, 41, 62, 63, 65, 85, 96 
Edessa, i, 114, 127, 142 
Edinburgh, Duke of, ii, 98 
Edward I of England, i, 231, 238, 239, 


Edward II of England, i, 241 

Edwardes, Herbert, Commissioner of 
Peshawar, ii, 71 

Egypt, i, 17, 19; conquest by Esarhaddon, 
30; conquest by Cambyses II, 45; 
revolt of, 53; reconquest by Artaxerxes 
III, 56-57; annexed by Alexander the 
Great, 61; 72, 76, 78, 80, 93; evacu- 
ated by Antiochus IV, 92, no; sea 
routes from, to India, 122; 206, 259, 

Elam, state of, i, 19, 20, 27; founders 
of, 19; geographical sketch of, 19; 
conquered by Guti mountaineers, 22; 
overthrows Kassite dynasty, 27; as 
a great power, 27; allitfice" with 
Babylonia, 29; Sennacherib's campaign 
against, 29-30; first campaign of 
Assurbanipal against, 30; second, 31; 
third, 31; the fall of, 31; disappearance 
of, 32; 50 

Elburz Mountains, i, 230 

Elgin, Lord, ii, 72 

Elias, Ney, i, 252 footnote, 276 footnote 

Elizabeth of England, i, 310 

Ellenborough, Lord, Governor-General of 
India, ii, 39, 44, 47, 48, 49; his treat- 
ment of the hostages and prisoners, 58- 
59; his proclamation of October i, 59; 

Ellis, Sir Henry, i, 262 footnote 

Elphinstone, General W. K., succeeds Sir 
W. Cotton, ii, 27; the fatal indecision 
of, 29 et seq.\ retreat from Kabul, 33 
et seq.; detained as hostage by Akbar 
Khan, 35; 42; death of, at Goudah, 54 

Elphinstone, Mountstuart, 1,311 footnote, 
324; mission to Shah Shuja, 387 and 

England, General, ii, 42, 43, 44 

Enlil, Sumerian god, i, 27 

Ephesus, i, 50, 81, 177 

Ephthalites, vide Huns 

Epirus,i, 73, 85, 86 

Eranvej, original home of Aryans, i, 34 

Erech, the dynasty of, i, 22; sack of, by 
Kudur-Nankhundi, 22 

Eretria, i, 49; betrayed and sacked, 50 

Erivan: recaptured by Shah Abbas, i, 312; 
captured by Turkey, 327; held by 
Turkey, 333; 336 

Erzerum, i, 114, 261 % 

Esarhaddon, King, i, 30, 35, 36, 82 

Etymander, River (the Helmand), i, 7, 85 

Eubcea, i, 50 

Eucratides (son of Laodice), i, 92-93, 94; 
death, 94; 95 

Eulaeus (Karun), River, i, 19, 30, 68 foot- 

Eumenes, Secretary of Alexander, i, 73 

Eumenes of Pergamum, i, 92 



Euphrates, River, i, 5, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 
29, 54, 55, 62, 69, 81, 95, 104, 107, 
108, no, 113, 114, 115, 1 1 6, 117, 122, 
127, 128, 130, 131, 140, 142, 146, 158 
Euripides, i, 1 10, 226 footnote 
Eurydice (wife of Philip Arrhidaeus), i, 73 
Euthydemus, King of Bactria, i, 85, 89, 90 
Exedares (son of Pacorus II), i, 114 
Eyre, Major-General Sir Vincent, ii, 31, 

32 footnote, 33, 34, 35 
Ezekiel, Prophet, i, 122 footnote 

Faiz Muhammad (son of Dost Muham- 
mad), ii, 71, 75 

Fakhr-ud-Din, Kurt, ruler of Herat, i, 
240* 2^2, 243, 244 

Farab (Otrar), i, 184 

Farah, i, 243, 256, 330, 337, 372, 373; 
ii, 63 

Farah Rud, ii, 91 

Farrukh-Siyar, i, 324, 366 

Farrukhzad (son of Masud I), i, 207, 208 

Fars, the province of (ancient Parsa or 
Pars), i, 38, 39, 40, 117, 125, 169, 181, 
191,217, 333 

Fatehabad, ii, 36 

Fath Mi Khan, Mir, Talpora Chief, i, 

3 6 9 
Fath Ali Shah, i, 378, 381, 401 

Fath Jang, puppet King of Kabul, ii, 49, 

Fath Khan (eldest son of Paianda Khan), 

i, 381 e/ seg.$ defeats the Persian Army, 

390; blinding of, 391 
Fathullah Khan Talpora, i, 372 
Fatimid dynasty, i, 206, 207, 230 
Fatten Muhammad Khan (son of Akbar 

Khan), appointed Governor of Afghan 

Turkistan, ii, 73 
Fazl (son of Yahya), the Barmecide, i, 176, 

Ferghana, i, 90, 98, 122, 164, 166, 167, 

173, 182, 270, 277, 279, 287, 313 
Ferishta, Mahommed Kasim (Persian 

historian), i, 189 footnote, 195, 209, 210 
Ferozepur, ii, 4 
Ferrier, J. P., i, 351 footnote, 389 and 

footnote, account of the Herat siege 

operations, 409; ii, 45 
Finkenstein, Treaty of, i, 379 
Firdausi ( Abul Kasim), poet, i, 48, 52, 1 1 7, 

124, 135, 199-200, 216 
riruz, Sasanian monarch, campaigns 

against the White Huns, i, 136-137 
Firuzkuh, i, 210, 214 
Firuz-Shapur, i, 132 
Firuz-ud-Din, Haji (brother of Mahmud 

Shah), i, 384, 386, 390 
Fitnak, the fortress of, i, 346 
FitzGerald, Edward, i, 136, 200-201, 


Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond, ii, 162 foot- 

Fort Sandeman, ii, 278, 279 

" Forty-fourth Hill ", ii, 36 

Fowle, Lieutenant T. F. T., on battle of 
Mai wand, ii, 143 

Fukhur-ud-Din Altai, ii, 201, 213 

Gabae, i, 94 

Galerius, Emperor, i, 129 

Gandamak, i, 3885 ii, 25, 26, 35, 36, 49, 
113; treaty of, 114 

Gandash, Kassite Chief, i, 26 

Gandhara, i, 44, 47, 90, 94, 96, 97, IOO, 
101, 118, 120, 138, 143, 152, 155 

Ganges, River, i, 6, 67, 90, 91, 118, 260, 

Ganja (modern Elizabetpol): Turkey to 
hold > 3335 besieged, 336 

Gardane, Le Chevalier de, i, 325 

Gardanne, General, i, 379 

Gardner, Prof. Percy, i, 103 

Garmsir, i, 283 

Gaud-i-Zireh or Zirra, i, 4; ii, 91, 207 

Gaugamela, i, 62 

Gauhar Shad (wife of Shah Rukh), i, 268, 
2705 mosque of, 274-275 

Gauls: invasion of Macedonia, i, 79; 
defeated by Antiochus I, 79-80 

Gaykhatu (brother of Arghun), i, 239, 248 

Gaza, i, 615 battle of, 74 

Gedrosia (now Makran), i, 68 

Geok Teppe, ii, 89 and footnote 

Georgia, conquered by Tamerlane, i, 256, 

Georgians, the, i, 228 

Gerard, Major- General, British representa- 
tive on Anglo-Russian Commission of 
1895, ii, 181 

Ghalib Bey, Turkish Governor at Mecca, 
ii, 259 

Ghaus-ud-din, Chief of Ahmadzai Ghil- 
zais, ii, 319, 320 

Ghazan Khan, i, 234, 238, 239; Syrian 
campaigns, 240; the reforms of, 240- 
24 1 j death, 241; 248 

Ghazdavan, i, 287 

Ghaznavid, dynasty of, i, 15; the rise of, 
1 8 6; troublesome period, 2075 revival 
of, under Ibrahim, 2085 reign of Masud 
III, 208; a disturbed period, 208; 
destruction of Ghazni, 209-210; end 
of, 210; 214 

Ghazni, i, 14, 184, 185, 191, 194, 195, 
196, 197, 200, 205, 207, 208; annexed 
by Saif-ud-Din, 209; destruction of, by 
Ala-ud-Din of Ghur, 209; 21 1, 213, 
214, 217, 222, 224, 259, 280, 281, 283, 
316,340,354; ii, 9, 11,43, 117 

Ghilzais, the, i, 2835 become subjects of 
Shah Abbas on capture of Kandahar, 



312; most powerful tribe in province of 
Kandahar, 325; success encourages 
Abdalis to rebel, 326; victories won by, 
329; Nadir determines to recover 
Persia from, 3305 complete vengeance 
exacted on, 331; Husayn Sultan 
despatches force of 3000 to support of 
Zufilkar, 3325 secretly steal away, 333; 
repeatedly defeated by Nadir Shah, 
3365 Upper Helmand held by, 3375 
Nadir Shah enlists several thousands in 
his bodyguard, 338; 350, 352, 383; 
ii, 22, 1305 rise against Abdur Rahman, 

Ghiyas-ud-Din, Kurt, i, 242, 243, 244, 

Ghiyas-ud-Din (younger brother of Jalal- 
ud-Din), i, 227 

Ghiyas-ud-Din Muhammad, successor of 
Saif-ud-Din, i, 211, 213 

Ghiyas-ud-Din Pir Ali, Kurt Prince, i, 

Ghoaine, battle of, i, 5 1 

Gholam Haidar (son of Dost Muhammad), 
ii, 61; becomes Dost Muhammad's 
heir-apparent and Vizier, ii, 64; 
negotiates for Anglo-Afghan Treaty of 

Gholam Nabi Khan (son of Ghulam 
Haidar), Cherkhi, ii, 319, 325 

Ghorband, River, i, 90 

Ghorian, i, 390 

Ghulam Haidar, Afghan Commander-in- 
Chief and Chief Commissioner, ii, 183, 
184, 185 

Ghulam Sadik Khan, officiating Foreign 
Minister during Amanulla's European 
visit, ii, 3025 formation of a legislative 
assembly, 311 

Ghur, province of, i, 15, 159, 170, 189, 
207, 209, 217, 223, 243, 283 

Ghurak, Prince, i, 163 

Ghurian. ii, 81 

Ghurid dynasty: rise of, i, 210-211; 
break-up of, 213-214 

Ghuzz tribe, i, 204, 205, 210, 21 1; defeat 
and capture of Sultan Sanjar, 215 

Gibb, H. A. R., 157 footnote, 160, 168, 


Gibbon, Edward, i, 103. 257 
Giers, M. de, assurance of, ii, 107, 108 
Gilan, province of, i, 242, 334 
Girishk, i, 7, 64, 337, 372, 386; ii, 8, 

Gladstone, William Ewart, ii, 104, 133, 


Goa, i, 320 
Gobi Desert, i, 6, 99, 121, 150, 219, 247, 

Gobryas, commander-in-chief of Cyrus, i, 


Gogra, River, battle of the, i, 294, 295 

Goldsmid, General Sir Frederic, ii, 94, 95 
footnote, 96, 99; mission of, 208 

Gondophares, i, 118 

Gortchakoff, Prince, ii, 87, 88, 109 

Goudah, ii, 54 

Gough, Brigadier-General Hugh, ii, 133} 
at battle of Kandahar, 148 

Govind Singh, tenth and last Guru, i, 365 

Grand Duchess Marie, daughter of the 
Tsar, ii, 98 

Granicus, battle of, i, 59-60 

Grant, Sir Hamilton, ii, 284, 359, 
Appendix F 

Granville, Lord, ii, 162, 163, 165 

Great Britain: Mission of Cajttaiti (later 
Sir) John Malcolm, i, 378, 3795 
Mission of Sir Harford Jones, 379-380; 
Treaty of Lahore, 387; Elphinstone 
Mission to Shah Shuja, 387; Captain 
Burnes' Mission to Dost Muhammad, 
401 et seq.\ First Afghan War, ii, i et 
seq.\ retreat from Kabul, 22 et seq.\ 
Anglo- Persian Treaty of 1853, 65; 
Anglo- Afghan Treaty of 1855, 65; 
Anglo-Persian War of 1857, 66; Indian 
Mutiny, 71; Anglo-Russian agreement 
of 1873, 87; first Seistan Mission, 
1872, 91 et seq.'y the genesis of the 
Second Afghan War, 97 et seq.\ Second 
Afghan War, no et seq.\ Abdur Rah- 
man, 120 et seq.\ battles of Maiwand 
and Kandahar, 139 et seq.; Abdur 
Rahman is acknowledged Amir of 
Afghanistan and its dependencies, 151 
et seq.', Panjdeh Crisis, 158 et seq.\ 
Durand Mission to Kabul, 169 et seq.\ 
Pamir and other Boundary Commissions, 
1 80 et seq.j the McMahon Missions, 
20 1 et seq.\ Dane Mission to Amir 
Habibulla Khan, 218-224; Anglo- 
Russian Convention, 231 et seq.\ rela- 
tions with Tibet, 238 et seq.\ Third 
Afghan War, 270 et seq.\ acknowledges 
Afghanistan to be an independent state, 
283 et seq.\ King Amanulla visits 
England, 305-307 

Great Mihran (Sarasvati), i, 24 

Great War, the, i, 8 

Greeks, i, 49 

Gregory X, Pope, i, 245 

Griffin, Lepel (later Sir Lepel), Chi^f 
Political Officer at Kabul, ii, 129, 130; 
receives Abdur Rahman, 136 

Griffiths, Major Charles, ii, 36 
Grousset, Rend, i, 149 footnote, 154, 267 


Grumbates, King of the Huns, i, 131 
Gubazes, King, i, 142 
Guchluk, Kerait Chief, i, 216, 220, 221 
Gudea, King of Lagash, i, 22 


39 1 

Gujarat, i, 303; becomes obedient to 

orders of Akbar, 307; occupied by Baji 

Rao, 324; battle of, ii, 64 
Gulbadan Begum, i, 302 
Gul Muhammad, meets McMahon for the 

first time, ii, 204 
Gulnabad, battle of, i, 326, 327 
Gumal, River, i, 3 
Gumal Pass, i, 3; ii, 171 
Gumal Valley, i, 281 
Gurgan, city of, i, 1375 Yezid's campaign, 

164-165, 172, 188 
Gurgan, River, i, 63, 82 
Gurgan Valley, i, 332 
Gurgin Khan (Georgian Prince), i, 3255 

kil'cd^y Mir Wais, 326 
Gur Khan, i, 220 
Gurus, the, i, 364 
Gushtasp, King, i, 124 
Guti mountaineers, i, 22j conquest of 

Babylonia, Sumer, Akkad and Elam, 22 
Gutium, i, 20 
Gwadur, i, 68 

Habibulla, Amir, ii, 355, Appendix D 

Habibulla, King, i, 16 

Habibulla, " the Child of the Water- 
Carrier ", ii, 312; attacks Kabul, 312- 
313; proclaims himself Amir, 3145 
318; his successes against Nadir Khan, 
319, 3205 finally defeated, captured 
and executed, 321 

Habibulla Khan: proclaimed Amir of 
Afghanistan, ii, 216; announces his 
accession to the Viceroy, 216; invita- 
tion by Lord Curzon, 216, and his non- 
acceptance, 217; acceptance of Lord 
Minto's invitation, 225; visits India, 
226-2305 his attitude to the Turko- 
German Mission, 2545 his demand for 
representation at the Peace Congress, 
265; his assassination, 265 

Habibulla Khan Tarzi, Sirdar, Afghan 
Commissioner, ii, 187 

Hackin, J., i, 149 footnote, 168 footnote 

Hadi, Caliph, i, 175, 176 

Hadrian, Emperor, i, 115, 207 

Haft Kotal, ii, 50 

Haidar Mir<za, historian, i, 280, 282, 286, 
287 and footnote, 295 

Haiderabad, i, 374 

Haider Khan, ii, 9 
'*Haji Khanum, \, 309 

Hajjaj bin Yusuf, i, 162, 164 

Hakhamanish, vide Achaemenes 

Hakim Mirxa, invasion of the Punjab by, 

Halah (or Calah), early capital of Assyria, 


Halicarnassus, i, 60 
Halil Rud, i, 69, 85 

Halley, Captain R., of the Royal Air Force, 

in the Third Afghan War, ii, 276 
Halule, i, 30, 37 
Halys (now Kizil Irmak), River, i, 39, 40, 

Hamadan, i, 119, 122, 178, 193, 217; 

captured, by Turkey, 327; reoccupied 

by Nadir Shah, 3315 army of Tahmasp 

finally routed near, 333 
Hami, i, 119, 151 

Hamida Begum (wife of Humayun), i, 299 
Hamilton, Lieutenant P. F. P., account of 

battle of Ahmad Khel quoted, ii, 131 
Hamilton, Lord George, Secretary of State 

for India, ii, 194 
Hammurabi, King of Babylon, i, 23; code 

of laws, 235 28 
Hamun, i, 4 

Han dynasty, i, 98, 119 
Hanna, Colonel H. B., ii, 139 footnote 
Hannibal, i, 86 
Hansi, fortress of, i, 194 
Hanway, Jonas, i, 325, 347 footnote, 348 

footnote, 349 footnote, 350 
Haraeva, vide Herat 
Haraiva (Herat), i, 34 
Haraiwati (modern Kandahar), i, 8 
Haran, i, 23, 109 
Harappa, city of, i, 25 
Harauwati (Arachosia), i, 47 
Hardinge, Sir Charles (later Lord), ii, 233 
Har Govind, i, 365 
Hari Rud, River, i, 4, 7, 9, 211, 333; ii, 

6 3 
Hari Singh, Sikh general, i, 398 

Harith ibn Suraj, rebellion of, i, 167 

Harmozia (medieval Hormuz), i, 69 

Harpagus, i, 44 

Harran, i, 39 

Harsha, King, i, 155 

Harthama, General, i, 178 

Harun al-Rashid, i, 163, 175 et seq.\ 

death, 178; 250 
Harun (son of Mehdi), i, 175 
Harut Rud, ii, 91 
Hasan, a brigand, i, 258 
Hasan, Uzun, " White Sheep " Chief, i, 

270, 272 

Hasan Abdal, i, 320 
Hasan bin Zayd, i, 181 
Hasan Sabbah, founder of the sect of 

Mulahida, i, 230 
Hashirn Khan, Sirdar (uncle of King 

Zahir), ii, 320, 328, 329 
Hashim Sultan, i, 305 
Hassan, Shahxadeh (son of Mir Shah), ii, 


Hatra, i, 115, 116 
Haughton, Lieutenant, ii, 29 
Havelock, Captain Henry, ii, 42 
Hawkal, Ibn, i, 170 



Hay, Captain W. H., British Commissioner, 

ii, 186 

Hayatulla Khan, Moghul governor, i, 354 
Hayden, H. H., i, 5 footnote 
Hayton, Christian King of Armenia, i, 

Hazarajat, i, 7 
Hazara Mountains, i, 282 
Hazaras, the, i, 15, 16, 281, 282, 283; ii, 

63; rise against Abdur Rahman, 192 
Hazarasp, fortress of, i, 163, 346 
Hecatompylus (Damghan), i, 119 
Heliocles, Governor of the eastern satrapies, 

i, 92 
Heliocles (son of Eucratides), i, 96, 97, 


Heliodorus, Seleucid minister, i, 91 
Hellas, 1,49; invasion by Xerxes, 51; 56; 

position after Peace of Antalcidas, 565 

recognition of Alexander, 58; 59, 60, 

72, 74, 78, 85, 86, 87, 92 
Hellespont, i, 51, 59, 79 
Helmand, River, i, 4, 7, 10, 34; ii, 91, 


Henck, Dr., ii, 249 
Henry the Second, Duke of Silesia, i, 


Henry III of Castile, embassy to Tamer- 
lane, i, 263 

Henry III of England, i, 231 
Henry IV of England, i, 262 
Henry IV of France, i, 310 
Hephaestion, i, 66 
Heracles (illegitimate son of Alexander), i, 

Heraclius, Emperor: accession of, i, 147$ 
projected flight to Carthage, 1475 
campaigns of, 1475 sacks Dastagird, 
148; peace treaty with Kobad II, 1485 

Heraclius (father of the Emperor Hera- 
clius), i, 144 

Herat, i, 5, 9, 12, 44, 475 valley of, 7, 15; 
destroyed by Mongols, 9; made capital 
by Timurids under Shah Rukh after 
Tamerlane's death, 9; centre of art and 
learning, 9; 91, 93, 159, 160, 170, 
181, 182, 184, 194, 198,211; destruc- 
tion of, by Tuli, 225; 236, 240, 242, 
243, 244, 246, 249, 256, 259, 267, 
268, 270, 2725 Renaissance of, 273; 
277, 282, 283, 285, 286; held by 
Persia, 306; Abdulla Khan anxious to 
hold, 307; Shah Abbas wins great vic- 
tory near, 308; Abdalis forced to 
migrate to province of, 313, 325; 
Nadir Shah attacked by force of Abdalis 
from, 329; Nadir Shah decides to win 
back, 330; seized by Abdalis, 332; 
Nadir Shah moves Abdali tribesmen 
from, 338; 345, 351. 356, 368, 372,* 

373 3 86 39) the 8ie & e . of 
second siege of, 408, 409; siege of, by 
Muhammad Shah, ii, i; raising of the 
siege of, 4; mission to, 8; captured by 
Dost Muhammad, 65, 66; 76, 101, 
102, 103, 105, 115, 122, 134; fortifica- 
tion of, 1 66 

Herbert, Colonel, in command at Attock, 
ii, 64 

Hermaeus, King, i, 101 

Hermias, Seleucid minister, i, 84 

Herodotus, i, 36, 37, 43, 44, 47, 48, 51, 
83 J oof note, 98 

Herzfeld, Dr. Ernst E., i, 17 footnote, 18 
footnote, 19, 33, 34, 36 footnote 

Himalayas, i, 4, 25, 303 t 

Hims, battle of, i, 237, 240 * 

Himu, the " Corn-Chandler", chief officer 
of Adii Shah, i, 302, 304 

Hindal, Mirxa (brother of Humayun), i, 
297, 298, 301, 302 

Hindu Kush, i, 3; origin of name, 4, 5; 
7, 9, 10, 12, 13, 15; passage of, by 
Alexander the Great, 64; 64 footnote, 
75, 85, 89, 94, 100, 101, 122, 153, 
156, 170, 181, 186, 222, 225, 250, 
259, 286, 300, 301; constituted 
northern boundary by Akbar, 307; 
crossed by Goes, 309; 357 

Hindus, i, 322 

Hindu Sahis, dynasty of, i, 189 

Hindustan, i, 191 

Hira, Arab state, i, 146 

Hiram, King, i, 122 

Hisar III, i, 25 

Hissar, i, 280, 286, 287, 305 

Histiaeus of Miletus, i, 49 

Hittites, the, i, 20; invasion of Babylonia, 

235 2 7 33 

Hiung-Nu (or Huns), the, i, 98 
Hoa (or Hoa-tun), section of the Great 

Yueh-Chi, i, 134 
Hobhouse, Sir Arthur, ii, 104 
Hobhouse, Sir John (later Lord Broughton), 


Hogg, Reynold, i, 347 
Holdich, Major (later Sir) Thomas, i, 10, 

13, 14 footnote, 66; ii, 166, 167, 181; 

as Chief Survey Officer on Anglo-Russian 

Commission of 1895, 181, 182; Chief 

Surveyor on Udny Commission, 183, 

i8 S 

Holkar, Maratha chief, i, 375, 376, 387* 

Horace, i, 109, 113 

Hormisdas (younger son of Yezdigird II), 

i, 136 

Hormisdas I, i, 128 
Hormisdas IV: continuation of war with 

Rome, i, 144; invasion of the Turks, 

144; assassination of, 145 
Hormuz, battle of, i, 125, 245, 248 



Hotiki Ghilzais, i, 338 

Hou-han-shu> Chinese History, i, 119 


Howorth, Sir Henry, i, 218 footnote 
Hsieh-li, Khan of the Northern Turks, 

H9> 15 

Hsuan-tsang, Buddhist monk and Chinese 
explorer, i, 2, 8, 44, 64, 103, 120, 139} 
commences his great journey, 15} 
meets the Khakan of the Western 
Turks, 151-1525 crosses Central Asia, 
1525 arrives at Kapisi, 154.; reaches 
Parushapur (Peshawar), 154; 155; his 
return journey, 155-156; granted an 
official reception at Changan, 156 
Hubbefton, William, ii, 83 footnote 
Hudud-al-Alam, the, i, 14 
Hue-Chao, Korean monk, i, 168 
Hulaku Khan (brother of Mangu), i, 191, 
197; founded dynasty of the Il-Khans, 
229; destroys Ismaili fortresses, 231- 
232; defeated by Mamelukes at battle 
of Ayn Jalut, 2345 defeats Barka, Chief 
of the Golden Horde, 235; death, 236; 

2 37 H3 H 6 

Humayun, Emperor, i, 250, 284, 290, 291, 
2975 Indian campaigns of, 2975 cap- 
ture of Champaner, 297-298; final 
defeat of, 298; the exile of, 299; retakes 
Kabul, 300, 301; blinds his brother 
Kamran, 301; invades India, 303; 
death, 303; character, 303; 304, 319 

Humayun Mirxa (eldest son of Timur 
Shah), i, 370, 372 

Humphrys, Major (later Sir) Francis, ii, 
295; first British Minister at Kabul, 
296, 303 

Huns, i, 130, 131; origin of the White 
Huns, 134; Bahram Gur's campaigns 
against, 135; campaigns of Yezdigird, 
136; campaign of Firuz, 136-137; 
defeat of Firuz, 137; invasion of India, 
138; campaign of Noshirwan, 143; 

'53* 155 

Huns, White, i, 121 
Husayn, Amir (grandson of Amir Kaz- 

ghan), i, 253; Tamerlane's struggle 

with, 255 
Husayn, Baikara, Sultan, last of the 

Timurid Princes, i, 271-272, 273, 277, 

281-282, 283 

Husayn, the martyr of Kerbela, i, 285 
IfUsayn Beg, i, 3 1 1 
Husayn Jalayr, Amir, i, 258 
Husayn Sultan: hostility of, to Ashraf, 

i, 328; Ashraf killed by force sent to 

intercept him by, 3 3 1 ; Abdalis, instigated 

by, rebel against Nadir Shah, 332; 

unable to meet Nadir Shah's army, shuts 

himself up in the city, 337; 338 
Huvishka, Kushan monarch, i, 121 

Huzha, Aryan tribe, occupation of Elam, 

Hydaspes, the (modern River Jhelum), i, 


Hyderabad, i, 323 
Hykulzai, ii, 43, 44 
Hyphasis (Beas), River, i, 67 
Hyrcania, conquered by Alexander the 

Great, i, 63, 82, 85, 95 
Hyrcanus (Jewish leader), i, 1 1 1 
Hystaspes, Viceroy of Bactria, rebellion of, 

i, 52 
Hystaspes (father of Darius), i, 44, 46, 83 

Ibn Battuta, Moslem traveller, i, 4; on 
Hindu Kush, 4; starts off on pilgrimage 
to Mecca, 248; meets Orkham Beg, 
249; crosses the Oxus into Afghanistan, 
249; visits Herat, Meshed and Nisha- 
pur, 249; crosses the Hindu Kush, 
250; visits Kabul and Ghazni and 
marches down to the Indus, 250-251; 
compared with Marco Polo, 251 
Ibn Hawkal, Moslem geographer, i, 170 
Ibn-ul-Athir, the historian, 218 footnote ', 


Ibrahim, Governor, i, 177 
Ibrahim Beg, the " Robin Hood " of Buk- 
hara, ii, 324 
Ibrahim (blind brother of Masud I), i, 195, 


Ibrahim (brother of Farrukhzad), i, 208 
Ibrahim (eldest son of Muhammad Ali), i, 

Ibrahim Khan (brother of Nadir Shah), i, 

347, 362, 263 
Ibrahim Lodi, Sultan, i, 288, 289, 290; 

battle of Panipat, 291-292; 296 
Ibrahim of Turkey, i, 316 
Ibrahim Shah (Ibrahim Khan Sur), i, 302, 


Ibrahim (son of Tahir), i, 180 
Idris (great-grandson of Ali), i, 175 
Idrisi dynasty, i, 175 
Ignatieff, political officer at Bukhara, ii, 


Ilak Khans, the, i, 184, 188, 189 
Il-Arslan (son and successor of Atsiz), i, 


Ilbars, the Khan of Khiva, i, 346, 347 
Ilek, River, i, 278 
Hi Valley, i, 98, 99, 166 
Il-Khans, dynasty of, i, 229 
Iluma-ilu, Sumerian founder of Sea-Land 

dynasty, i, 24 

Ilyas, Kh'waja^ Governor of Samarkand, 
i, 253; Tamerlane's campaigns against, 

Imad-ul-Mulk, Vizier at Delhi, i, 358 
Imam Kuli Beg, i, 328 
Imams, the, i, 230 



Imeritia, province of, i, 104 

Inayatulla Khan, Sirdar, ii, 226, 257, 258, 

Indabugash, King, i, 31 

India: migration of Aryans into, i, 34, 41, 
48; Indian campaign, 48 ; invaded by 
Alexander the Great, 67; 75, 94, 100, 
10 1 ; sea routes from Egypt to, 122; 
White Huns invade, 138-139; 152, 
153, 154, 155, 181; expeditions of 
Mahmud into, 188, 209; campaigns of 
Muizz-ud-Din, 211-212; 213, 227, 
230, 232, 234, 243; invaded and 
plundered by Tamerlane, 258-260; 
Baber's first expedition into, 288; 297, 
302, 307, 315, 319, 364, 373, 374; 
Napoleon's plan to attack, 377; ii, 104, 
105, 108 

Indian Mutiny, ii, 67 

Indian Ocean, i, 12, 48; Alexander the 
Great's march to, 69; 91, 119, 122 

Indo-European tribes, i, 33 

Indra, god, i, 34 

Indus, River, i, i, 5, 24, 25, 26, 48, 49, 
66, 69, 75, 91, 100, 101, 156, 213, 
224, 243, 251, 259, 260, 288, 290, 303, 

34i> 354" 35 8 359* 37 2 > 3735 4> 6 '> 
1 10 

Indus Valley, third centre of prehistoric 
civilization, i, 5, 6, 7, 24, 138, 195, 281, 

. 2 .9S. 
Ionia, i, 41 

Ionic revolt, i, 49 

Ipsus, the battle of, i, 76 

Iran, vide Persia 

Iranian Plateau,!, i footnote, 5, ii, 18, 19, 

20,29, 33>4i>99 

Iraq, i, 175, 178, 192, 227, 249, 258 
Irene, Queen, i, 176, 177 
Irghiz, River, i, 278 
Irkeshtam, i, 121, 122 
Irtish, River, i, 265 
Irwin, Lord, Viceroy of India, ii, 303 
Isa, Chief of Makran, i, 193 
Isaiah, Book of, i, 43, 45, 256 
Isfahan, i, 159, 192; battle of, 227, 228; 

256-257; Ali Mardan Khan ordered to, 

314; 325, 326, 327, 328, 330, 331; 

Nadir Shah leaves, 337; disaster of, 

avenged, 338; 349 
Isfandiar, Prince, i, 124 
Isfizar, i, 244 
Ishak Khan (son of Azim Khan), ii, 79, 

80; rebellion of , 1 9 1 
Ishak Khan (son of Sirdar Azim), ii, 


Ishak (son of Alptigin), i, 186 
Ishakzai, the, i, 369 
Ishkashim, i, 6 
Ishtar, goddess, i, 32 
Isin dynasty, i, 23 

Iskandar Khan (son of Sulayman 

i 370 
Iskandar (son of Kara Yusuf), i, 269, 272; 

proclaimed Khan, 305; 313 
Islam: the rise of, i, 157, 160; the spread 

of, 1 68 et seq.\ influence of the Seljuks, 

203 et seq.\ 309 
Islam Shah (Jalal Khan, younger son and 

successor of Sher Shah), i, 301, 302 
Ismail, Samanid Prince, i, 182, 183 
Ismail, the disinherited Imam, i, 230 
Ismailis, the, i, 230, 248 
Ismail (younger son of Sabuktigin), i, 187 
Issik-Kul, Lake, i, 99, 152 
Issus, battle of, i, 60; 147 
Istalif, ii, 57 c 

Istami (brother of Chief Tumen), i, 143 
lyas, Chief of Tayy tribe, i, 145, 146 
Izz-ud-Din, Vizier, i, 243 

Jabbar Khan, ii, ii, 15 

Jacob, General John, warden of the Sind 

frontier, ii, 70 and footnote 
Jacobabad, ii, 106 
Jafar-al-Sadik, i, 230 
Jafar (son of Yahya, the Barmecide), i, 

176; death, 177 

Jagdalak Pass, i, 284, 320; ii, 35, 50, 53 
Jahandar Shah, Mir, ii, 128 
Jahangir: ascends throne, 31 1, 312; visits 

Kabul, 313; death, 313-314 
Jahangir Mirs&a (brother of Baber), i, 278, 

Jahan Khan, adviser to Timur Mirxa, i, 


Jaipal, Raja of the Punjab, i, 187, 188 

Jajau, battle of, i, 323 

Jalalabad, i, 5, 8, 308, 309, 340, 341, 397; 

ii, 24, 25, 32, 40, 44, 47, 58, 276, 318 
Jalal-ud-Din Muhammad, Keiani Prince 

of Seistan, i, 254 
Jalal-ud-Din (son of Muhammad of 

Khwarizm), i, 223; his ride to Ghazni, 

223; defeated by Chenghiz on the 

Indus, 224; dazzling career of, 227; 

death, 228; 259 
Jamal Khan, Haji, i, 352; appointed 

Vizier, 353 
Jami, Mulla Nur-ud-Din Abdur Rahman, 

i, 274 

Jamrud, battle of, i, 397, 398 
Jan, Sultan, ii, 52 

Jan, Uzbeg Chief, i, 3 1 3 * 

Jand, i, 204 
Jandol, ii, 170-171 
Janid U/begs, 1,313 
Janissaries, i, 334 
Jankaji Sindia, i, 360 
Jarring, Gunnar, i, 14 footnote 
Jatah, conquered by Tamerlane, i, 255 
Jats, the, i, 191, 364 



Jaunpur, i, 297 

Jaxartes (Sir Daria), River, i, 6, 7, 44, 4.5; 
Alexander's advance to, 65; 74, 78, 91, 
14.3, 204. 

Jaz Morian, Lake, i, 69 

Jemal Pasha, Turkish general, ii, 289 

Jenkins, Colonel, ii, 133 

Jenkinson, Anthony, envoy of Queen Eliza- 
beth, i, 299 

Jeremiah, Book of, i, 37 footnote , 40 foot- 

Jerusalem, i, 14.6, 248 

Jesuits, i, 308 

Jexaikhh, i, 335 

Jhelum, River, i, 66, 68, 97, 100, 289, 


Johnson, Dr. N. K., i, n footnote 

Johnston, E. H M i, 88 footnote 

Jones, Sir Harford, mission of, i, 379- 


Jovian, Emperor, i, 132 
Juan-Juan, the, i, 142, 143 
Juji (eldest son of Chenghii Khan), i, 221, 

2 7 8 
Julian, Emperor: expedition of, i, 1315 

retreat of, and death, 132 
Jullandur, i, 303, 304 
Jumna, River, i, 361 
Junayd ibn Abdur Rahman, i, 167 
Justin II, i, 143, 144 
Justinian, Emperor, i, 139; peace treaty 

with Noshirwan, 141 
Juwayni, historian, i, 225 

Kabul, i, 5; captured by Babur, 75 9; 
climate of, 115 64, 97, 159, 162, 163, 
170, 1 8 1, 186,223, 225,243,250, 251, 
259, 280, 281, 282, 284, 287, 288, 
289, 291, 296, 297, 300, 301, 305, 306, 
314, 316, 317, 319, 323; capture of, 
by Nadir Shah, 340; 344, 353, 354, 
368,373,383; ii,2, 3,4,9, 12; British 
retreat from, in First Afghan War, 22 
et seq.i reoccupation and punishment 
of, 56, 57; 97, 98, 100, 101, 103, 105, 
106, 107, 108, no, 112; British 
Mission at, 113; 115, 116, 117, 120, 
276, 290 

Kabul, River, i, 7, 85, 121, 139, 154, 290 

Kabus (grandfather of Kei Kaus), i, 201 

Kabus Nama y the, i, 201 

Kadphises I, founder of the Kushan 
dynasty, i, 118 

Kafiristan, i, 3; Bashgol Valley of, 35 5, 
9; invaded by Tamerlane, 10; 155 ii, 
185, 195, 308 

Kafir Kala, i, 330, 390 

Kahtaba, Abbasid general, i, 172 

Kaim, Caliph, i, 205 

Kain, i, 230 

Kairawan, i, 176 

Kaisar Mir%a (son of Zaman Shah), i, 373, 

386, 391 

Kajar dynasty, i, 371 
Kakhaha, ii, 92, 93 
Kala-i-Safid, i, 257 
Kalaj Khan of Khaf, i, 373 
Kalantar, 1,313 
Kala Panja, i, 6 
Kalat, i, ii, 336, 347, 349, 359; ii, 105, 

Kalat-i-Ghilzai, i, 283, 284, 337, 3715 

ii, 42, 43, 44, 74, 117, 147 
Kalat-i-Nadiri, fortress of, i, 238, 256, 


Kallar, Vizier of Laga-Turman, i, 189 
Kaluskin, Russian Resident Tehran, i, 


Kamaroff, General, Governor of the Akhal 
Oasis, ii, 162, 163 

Kamar-ud-Din, usurper, i, 255 

Kamran Mirza (brother of Humayun), i, 
297, 298, 300; blinded by Humayun, 

Kamran Shah (son of Mahmud Shah), i, 
384, 385, 386, 391, 400, 401; murder 
and plunder of, ii, 62 

Kanauj, i, 190 

Kandahar, i, 5, 85 made capital of Durrani 
Kingdom, 9; Shah Ahmad buried in, 
9; 256, 259, 268, 277, 280, 283, 284; 
capture of, by Baber, 290; 300, 303, 
304, 306, 307; Shah Abbas captures, 
312; 314, 315; three sieges of, 316, 
317; 318, 325, 326, 328, 336, 338, 

345> 35'> 35 2 > 355> 3 68 > 3 6 9 37^ 37*, 
381, 385; ii, i, 2, 4, 5, 22, 42, 43, 65, 
81, no, 115, 117, 121, 130, 139; 
siege of, 146, 147; occupied by Abdur 
Rahman, 1535 Ayub Khan again 
attacks, 153 

Kangra, fortress of, i, 189 

Kanishka, Kushan monarch, i, 120, 154, 


Kanjpura, fort of, i, 361 
Kansu, Western, i, 98 
Kan Ying, Chinese ambassador, i, 119 
Kao-fu (name given by Chinese to Kabul), 

i, 8 
Kapisa, i, 64, 90, 94, 101, 118, 152, 154, 

'? 6 

Kapisi (the Chi-pin of the Chinese), i, 1 54, 


Karabagh, i, 242, 261, 262, 340 

Karachi, ii, 6, 302 

Karakaitak tribesmen, i, 347 

Kara Khitai dynasty, i, 214-215, 216, 

2175 overthrow of, 220 
Karakoram, i, 184, 229, 231, 237 
Kara Kum desert, i, 8 
Kara Kuyunlu (or " Black Sheep ") 

dynasty, i, 256 



Kara Osman (grandfather of Uzun Hasan), 

i, 272 

Karapa Pass, i, 320 
Karashahr, district of, i, 1 5 1 
Kara Yusuf, Prince, i, 256, 261, 269 
Kariz, village of, i, i, 7 
Karkheh, River, i, 19, 33 
Karkuyah, city of, i, 170 
Karluks, the, i, 173, 184 
Karnal, i, 212, 341; battle of, 342 
Kara, i, 256, 312, 336 
Karshi, i, 255 
Karun, i, 19, 33 
Karun, River, i, 69, 73 
Kashaf Rud, i, 90 
Kashgar, i, 120, 121, 156, 164, 184, 185, 

188, 203, 207, 220, 247, 268, 308, 309, 

Kashmir, i, 13, 75, 120, 193, 307, 313, 

365, 366, 385, 392 
Kashtiliash II, i, 26 
Kassites, the, i, 20, 27 ; derivation of 

name, 26; Kassite dynasty, 26, 27 
Kataghan, province of, ii, 122 
Kathiawar, i, 101, 190 
Kaufmann, General, ii, 97, 98, 106, 107, 

108, 113, 126 

Kaydu (grandson of Ogotay), i, 236 
Kaye, Sir J. W., i, i, 402 footnote, 403 
footnote, 404 footnote'^ ii, 38 footnote , 42 
footnote, 48 footnote, 49 
Kazan Khan, the Western Chagatay ruler, 


Kazghan, Amir, i, 252, 253 
Kazvin, i, 222, 230, 257, 299, 327, 328 
Kazvini, i, 170 
Keane, Sir John, ii, 4, 6, 1 1 
Keene, H. G., ii, 3 and footnote, 26 and 


Keianian dynasty, i, 48 
Kei Kaus, Ziyarid Prince, author of Kabus 

Nama, i, 2OI 

Keith, Sir Arthur, i, 18 footnote, 19 
Kelly, Colonel, relieves British force at 

Siege of Chitral, ii, 184 
Keppel, Sir George, ii, 263 
Keraits, the, i, 219 
Kerkha, River, i, 29 
Kerman, province of, i, 159, 169, 181, 

191, 227, 244, 245, 269, 326, 337, 


Kermanshah, i, 331-332 
Kesh, i, 252,253, 255,264 
Khadesiya, battle of, i, 158, 197 
Khaf, i, 223 
Khaibar Pass, i, i, 3, 281, 290, 307, 319, 

341; ii, 2,9,40,46, 114, 156 
Khairabad, fort of, i, 393 
Khairpur, Amir of, ii, 5 
Khaizuran, slave wife of Mehdi, i, 175 
Khak-i-Jabar, ii, 34 

Khalid (grandson of Amr-ul-Lais), i, 188 

and footnote 

Khalil Sultan (son of Miranshah), i, 268 
Khaha, ii, 2 

Khamiab, district of, i, 2 
Khanate of Astrakhan, 1,313 
Khan Dauran, Commander-in-Chief of 

Nizam-ul-Mulk, i, 341, 342 
Khanka, i, 346 

Khan Mirza, i, 283 and footnote, 290 
Khan of Kalat, ii, 6, 7 
Khan Sahib, a leader of the Red Shirts, ii, 


Khanua, battle of, i, 294, 297 
Khanzada Begum (Baber's elder sister), i, 

279,286 f ' 

Kharak, island of, i, 410; ii, 66 
Kharan, district of, i, 1 1 
Kharijites, the, i, 167 and footnote 
Kharistan, i, 168 
Khash Rud, ii, 9 1 
Khaysar, fortress of, i, 243, 244 
Khiva, i, 125, 215, 271, 315, 319, 3285 

Nadir Shah's campaign against, 346; 

374; first Russian expedition, ii, 83-84; 

annexation of, 86-87; 98 
Khivakabad, i, 347 
Khizr Khan, Governor of Multan, i, 


Khizr-Khels, the, i, 290 

Khizr Khwaja Khan (son of Khwaja 

Khoi, i, 263 
Khojak Pass, ii, 5, 7 
Khojand, i, 166, 167, 277, 278 
Khokars, the, i, 189, 213 
Khorasmia, i, 8 3 
Khost, i, 283 
Khotan, province of, i, 25, 119, 120, 121, 

134, 156, 184,220, 247, 309 
Khubilay, the great Khan, founder of the 

Yuen dynasty, i, 229, 236, 247 
Khudayar Khan, Kalhora Chief of Sind, i, 


Khurasan,!, 3,9,41, 125, 159, 164, 165, 
167, 172, 173, 174, 177, 178, 180, 182, 
183, 184, 187, 188, 191, 199, 205, 
214; devastation of, by Chenghiz Khan, 
222; 227, 230, 237, 248, 253, 259, 
285, 306, 327, 329, 338, 351, 356, 369 

Khurbatila, King of Elam, i, 27 

Khushab, i, 289; ii, 66 

Khusru Malik (Ghaznavid dynasty, son 
and successor of Khusru Shah), i, 210 

Khusru Parviz: early career, i, 145; 
invasion of Syria and Asia Minor, 145- 
146; battle of Zu-Kar, 146; conquests 
of, 146; siege of Constantinople, 147- 
148; flight from Dastagird, 148; 
deposition and death, 148 

Khusru Shah, ruler of Hissar, i, 280, 284 



Khusru Shah (Ghaznavid dynasty), suc- 
cessor of Bahrain, i, 210 

Khusru (son of Jahangir): loaded with 
chains and subsequently blinded, i, 3115 
rebellions of, 313$ 365 

Khuzistan, i, 19; origin of name, 41 

Khwaja Salar, ii, 88 and footnote 

Khwandamir, historian, i, 24.0, 2%$ foot- 
note, 287 footnote 

Khwarizm dynasty, i, 215; founded by 
Anushtigin, 216; at its zenith, 216; 

2 37 347 
Khwarizm (Khiva), i, 34, 163, 165; 

Mahmud's expedition against, 190-191; 

206, 213, 214, 216, 253; conquered 

by r farerlane, 255; 256, 278 
Kila Alladad, ii, 75 
Kilif, town of, i, 2, 7 
Kin dynasty, i, 219 
King, L.W.,ii, 187 
Kings, i at Book of, i, 122 footnote 
Kipchak, i, 258 
Kipchaks, the, i, 221 
Kiriklu, i, 333 
Kirki, ii, 80 
Kirkuk, i, 334, 33$ 
Kitchener, Lord, ii, 226 
Kizil, River, i, 121 
Kizilbash, the, i, 383, 384 
Kizil Kum (or " Red Sand ") desert, i, 152 
Kizil Tapa, ii, 163 

Knolles, Richard, i, 2 $2 footnote, 261,262 
Kobad (son of Firuz): first reign, i, 137; 

second reign, 137-138; first war with 

Rome, 137-138; second war with 

Rome, 139-140 
Kobad II (Siroes), i, 148; peace treaty with 

Heraclius, 148 

Kohandil Khan (brother of Dost Muham- 
mad), i, 394, 395; returns to Kandahar, 

ii, 61; 62, 63; death, 64, 65 
Kohat, i, 281, 295 
Kolhapur, i, 324 
Konkari, i, 320 
Kophen, vide Kabul 
Kophene, i, 8 
Koran, i, 13, 172, 258 
Kotal, ii, in 
Krasnovodsk, ii, 86 
Kubha, vide Kabul 
Kucha, district of, 1,151 
uchan, i, 329, 349 
Kudur-Nankhundi, King of Elam, sack of 

Erech by, i, 22 
Kufa, i, 172, 174 
Kuhak, i, 4 

Kuh-i-Baba, i, 5, 7, 153, 170 
Kuh-i- Khwaja, ii, 92 
Kuh-i-Malik-i-Siah (the Mountain of the 
Black Chief), i, 3, 4; ii, 202, 206; cairn 
erected on, 207; 208 

Kuhistan district, i, 230 

Kuh-i-Taftan, ii, 206 

Kuhlberg, Colonel, Russian Commissioner, 

ii, 1 66 

Kujbaz, battle of, ii, 73 
Kujula Kadphises I, i, 118 
Kul-i-Malik, i, 287 
Kunar, River, i, 7, 288 
Kunar Valley, i, 66 
Kundar, River, i, 3 
Kunduz, i, 156, 250, 254, 259 
Kunduz Mountains, ii, 223 
Kupkan, i, 328 
Kur,i, 334 

Kur, River, i, 107, 192, 236 
Kurdistan, i, 19 
Kurds, i, 329 
Kurigalzu III, i, 27 
Kurram, ii, 114, 115 
Kurram Valley, ii, no, in, 114, 156, 

3 2 3345> l l l 
Kursul, the Baga Tarkhan, i, 168 

Kurt dynasty, i, 15 

Kurt Maliks, foundation of the dynasty of 

the, i, 243; extinguished by Tamerlane, 


Kushan, the, i, 100 
Kushan dynasty, i, 1 18 
Kushi, ii, 117 
Kushk, River, ii, 163 
Kushk, town of, i, 2, 9 
Kushk-i-Nakhud, ii, 141 
Kutayba ibn Muslim, i, 160; campaigns 

of, 161 et seq.; death, 164 
Kutb-ud-Din Aibak: appointed Viceroy 

and captures Delhi, i, 212; assumes title 

of Sultan, 213-214 
Kutb-ud-Din Muhammad, a prince of 

Ghur, i, 209, 216 
Kutlagh Nigar Khanim (mother of Baber), 


Kuwait, i, 157 

Kuyuk (son of Ogotay), reign of, i, 229, 2 3 1 
Kwei-shang (or Kushan), i, 118 

Labienua, Roman general, i, 1 1 1 

Lade, battle of, i, 50 

Lagash, i, 22 

Laga-Turman, last King of the Turkish 

Sahi dynasty of Kabul, i, 189 
Lahore, i, 194, 196, 197, 210, 211, 213, 

289, 290, 291, 297, 298, 303, 305, 311, 

3131 34 1 * 354 357 3S 8 3S9> 3 66 > 373> 

389; ii, 1,9,64 
Lahore, Treaty of, i, 387 
Lajward, i, 246 
Lake, General (Lord), victories of, i, 375, 

Lampaka (now Lamghan), province of, i, 

Lamsdorff, Count, ii, 232, 233 



Landi Kotal, i, 3; ii, 274. 

Lane-Poole, Prof. Stanley, i, 205, 252 
footnote, 2j 6 footnote, 295 

Lansdowne, Lord, Viceroy of India, ii, 
169, 232 

Laodice (wife of Antiochus II), i, 80 

Larkana, i, 345 

Latham, Captain H. B., ii, 139 footnote 

Lawrence, A. W., i, 36 \footnote, 71 

Lawrence, Captain George, ii, i 3 footnote, 
20, 27, 31, 52 footnote, 56, 58 

Lawrence, Sir Henry, letter to Lord 
Stanley, ii, 70 and footnote 

Lawrence, Sir John (later Lord): negoti- 
ates for Anglo- Afghan Treaty of 1855, 
ii, 65; the close border policy of, 70; 


Layas or Ayaz, i, 245 
Lazgis, the, i, 34.7 
Lazica (ancient Colchis), campaigns of, i, 

142, 145, 148 
Leilan, i, 335 
Leonidas, King, i, 51 

Le Strange, Guy, i, 157 footnote, 26 3 foot- 

Liegnitz, i, 228 

Lockhart, Dr. Laurence, i, 325 
Lockhart, Sir William, i, 10 
Loftus, Lord, ii, 107 
Logar Valley, ii, 112 
Lohanis, the, i, 295 
Lomakin, General: proclamation and 

campaigns of, ii, 89; defeated at Geok 

Teppe, 89 
Longfellow, H. W., his poem ' ' Kambalu ' ', 

i, 232 

Lopnor, i, 121 
Lora Hamun, i, 4 
Lord, Dr., i, 402; ii, 15, 20 
Louis IX, King, i, 229 
Louis XIV, King, i, 322 
Loveday, Lieutenant, ii, 19 
Lovett, Major Beresford, ii, 94 
Low, C. R., ii, 46 footnote, 47 footnotes, 48 

footnote, 49 footnote 
Low, Sir Robert, ii, 185 
Lucian, i, 79 
Lucullus, i, 105 
Ludhiana, i, 387, 394 
Lulubi, i, 22 
Lumsden, General Sir Peter, ii, 161, 162, 

163; his recommendations re the 

Boundary Commission, 165 
Luris (or Gypsies), i, 135 
Luristan, i, 19, 42, 257 
Lut, the great desert of Persia, i, 245 
Lutf Ali Khan, i, 326 
Lyall, Alfred (later Sir Alfred), Foreign 

Secretary, ii, no, 152 
Lydia, invasion of, by Cyrus the Great, i, 


Lynch, Major Hyacinth, ii, 1 39 footnote^ 

his account of the battle of Maiwand, 


Lysimacma, i, 79 
Lysimachus, i, 74; battle of Ipsus, 76, 77; 

defeat of, and death, 78 
Lytton, Lord, ii, 102, 103, 104, 105, 108, 

113, 115, 116, 133 

Macaulay, Colman, ii, 239 
Macaulay, Lieutenant, ii, 187 
McCaskill, General, ii, 50, 57 
McCrindle, J. W., i, 139 footnote 
Macedonia, i, 49, 51; rise of, under 
Philip and Alexander, 58 et seg., 72, 74, 
76, 77, 78, 79, 80; invadt 1 \>y the 
Gauls, 79; first Macedonian War, 
85-86; second Macedonian War, 86, 


McGovern, Dr. W. M., i, 98, 134 

MacGregor, Captain (Political Officer), ii, 

Mackay, Dr., i, 17 footnote, 25 

Mackenzie, Captain Colin, ii, 31 and/oo/- 
note, 48 

Mackeson, Captain, ii, 46 

Maclaren, Brigadier, ii, 29, 30 

MacLean, Major-General C. S., ii, 201 

McMahon, A. H., i, 3 footnote 

McMahon, Captain (later Sir) Henry, ii, 9 1 
and footnote; Commissioner on boundary 
between Afghanistan and Indian Em- 
pire, 1894-1896,201-207; the benefits 
to Afghanistan, 207; British Commis- 
sioner and Arbitrator between Afghan 
and Persian claims in the province of 
Seistan, 208; presented with Order of 
the Sardari, 229 

Macmunn, Lieu tenant-General Sir George, 
i, 3 51 footnote] ii, 4 and footnote 

Macnaghten, William (later Sir William), 
Chief Secretary to Indian Government, 
i, 403, 405, 406; policy during First 
Afghan War, ii, i et seq.^ his mission 
to Ranjit Singh, i ; envoy to Shah Shuja, 
5; sends mission to Herat under Major 
Todd, 8; 9, n, 13; surrender of Dost 
Muhammad, 20; decides that British 
troops must remain in Afghanistan, 21; 
22, 24, 27; negotiations with Afghan 
Chiefs, 30; murdered by Akbar Khan, 
31; 40; the Simla Manifesto, 339-34^ 
Appendix A 

McNeill, John (later Sir John), i, 405; 
visit to Herat, 409; sends Major Todd 
on a mission, ii, i 

Maconachie, Richard (later Sir Richard), 

British Minister at Kabul, ii, 322 
Macpherson, Brigadier-General, ii, 133 
Macrianus, Prefect, i, 127 
Macrinus, Roman Emperor, i, 116 



Madam, capital of the Sasanian monarchs, 
i, 159, 174 

Madaktu, city of, i, 19, 30 

Maffey, John (later Sir John), defines 
Khaibar demarcation, ii, 288 

Magi, the, i, 117 

Magnesia, battle of, i, 86, 89, 103 

Mahabharata, the, i, 97 

Mahendra, Indian seditionist, ii, 287 

Mahmud of Ghazni, the " Idol-Breaker ", 
i, 14, 187; ascends the throne and 
secures recognition of the Caliph, 187; 
first Indian expeditions of, i88j defeats 
the Ilak Khan, 188-189; defeat of an 
Indian confederacy, 189; annexed Ghur, 
189,* overthrow of Sahi dynasties of 
Kabul, 189; expedition against Khwar- 
izm, 190; expedition against Muttra 
and Kanauj, 1905 expedition against 
Somnath, 190$ annexed Buwayhid pro- 
vinces, 192$ death and character, 191- 
192, 198; and the Seljuks, 204-205; 

Mahmud, King (son of Muhammad), i, 

2 5 8 

Mahmud, successor of Sabuktigin, i, 184, 

l8 5 

Mahmudabad, village of, ii, 142, 144 

Mahmud-al-Hasan, Maulana, religious 
leader, ii, 259 

Mahmud (brother of Sultan Ahmad), i, 

Mahmud (eldest son of Mir Wais), i, 326; 
appointed Governor of Kandahar, 326 

Mahmud Khan, Sultan, ruler of Badakh- 
shan, i, 271, 279 

Mahmud Lodi, Sultan (brother of Sultan 
Ibrahim), i, 295, 297 

Mahmud Shah: Governor of Herat, 1,371, 
372, 381; ascends the throne, 383; 
Ghilzai rebellion, 383-384; dethrone- 
ment of, 384-385; escape of, 386; 
again becomes king, 388; 391, 400 

Mahmud (son of Ghiyas-ud-Din), i, 213 

Mahmud (son of Maudud), i, 197 

Mahmud Tarzi, chief Afghan representa- 
tive at Mussoorie Conference, ii, 288; 
290; treaty signed after Mussoorie 
Conference, 364-369, Appendix H 

Maidan Pass, ii, 52 

Maimana, ii, 63, 75 

Maiwand, battle of, ii, 142-146 

Majd-ad-Daula, Buwayhid Prince, i, 192 

Majdud (brother of Maudud), i, 196 

Majd-ud-Din, Vizier of Saif-ud-Din, i, 

Maka, <vide Makran 

Makran, i, 44, 49, 122, 125, 135, 165 
and footnote, 307, 337 

Malakand, i, 3 

Malcolm, Captain (later Sir) John: first 

mission to Persia, i, 378; second 

mission, 379 

Malik Kaward of Kerman, i, 206 
Malik Mahmud: raises army and marches 

to Gulnabad, i, 327; Tahmasp twice 

defeated by, 329 

Malik, Shah, Seljuk, reign of, i. 206 
Malleson, Colonel G. B., i, 351 footnote 
Mallet, Bernard, ii, 102 footnote 
Malloi, the, i, 68 
Mallu Khan (brother of Sarang Khan), i, 

259, 260 
Malta, ii, 108 
Malwa, i, 138, 303, 324 
Mamelukes: dynasty, i, 180; 234 and 

footnote', battle of Ayn Jalut, 234; 

battle of Abulistin, 237; battle of 

Hims, 237 

Mamun, i, 178-179; golden age of Mos- 
lem culture, 179; 182,197 
Mamun II, i, 190 
Mandane, Princess (daughter of Astyages, 

and mother of Cyrus the Great), i, 41 
Mandu, i, 298, 312 
Mangu (son of Tuli), i, 229, 237, 243 
Manishtusu, i, 21 
Man Singh, Raja* i, 306 
Mansur, Abu Jafar, i, 174, 176, 230 
Mansur (son of Maudud), i, 197 
Mansur I of Bukhara, i, 186 
Mansur II, i, 184 
Manuel II Comneni, i, 263 
Manupur, the battle of, i, 354 
Maracanda (now Samarkand), i, 65 
Maragha, i, 235 

Maratha Empire, i, 320, 321, 324 
Marathas, i, 320, 321, 324, 358 et seq. 
Marathon, battle of, i, 43, 50 
Marcellinua, Ammianus, i, 12$ footnote, 

Marco Polo, i, 10, 230; journeys across 

Asia to China, 245; across Asia Minor 

and Persia to Hormuz, 245; across the 

Lut to Badakhshan, 245; across the 

Pamirs to China, 246-247; return to 

Venice, 247; 309 
Mardonius, i, 50 
Marghilan, i, 271 

Margiana (modern Merv), i, 90, no 
Marmora, Sea of, i, 60 
Marshall, Sir John, i, 17 footnote, 25 
Masjid-i-Gauhar Shah, royal mosque, i, 


Massagetae, the, i, 45, 83, 140 
Masson, Charles, i, 16 
Mastung, ii, 14 
Masud I, i, 193; final defeat of, by the 

Seljuks, 194-195; deposition and death, 

1955 *>5 

Masud II (infant son of Maudad), i, 207 
Masud III, i, 208 



Masudi, Abul Hasan AH, Arab historian, 

' II7 - . 

Masum Khan, Persian Commissioner, n, 

94, 96 

Mathura (Muttra), i, 96, 97, 100, 120 

Maudad (son of Masud I), i, 195, 196; 
campaign against the Seljuks, 196; 
rebellion of the Rajas, 196; rebellion 
of Toghril Beg, "the Ingrate", 1965 
rebellion in Ghur, 196-197; death, 197 

Maues, Sakae leader, i, 101 

Maurice, Emperor, i, 144., 145, 14? 

Maurya Empire, i, 75, 85, 90 

Mayo, Lord, ii, 77, 100 

Mazanderan, i, 222, 227, 256, 329, 338, 

Mazar-i-Sharif, i, 105 ii, 113 

Mazdak, i, 137 

Mecca, i, 157, 175* 206, 230, 244, 248, 

249, 301, 309 

Medes, the, i, 28, 38; migration of, 3$; 
the Empire of, 39; culture and art of, 

Media, i, 35; Deioces, 36; Phraortes 
conquest of the Persians, 36; Scythian 
invasion, 36} Cyaxares subjugates 
Scythians, 37; 71, 81, 83, 95, 96 
Media Atropatene, i, 126 
Medina, Muhammad's " flight " to, i, 157, 

175, 206, 249 

Mediterranean Sea, i, 28, 29, 74, 204, 234 
Megasthenes, envoy to the Court of 

Chandragupta, i, 75 
Mehdi, Caliph, i, 175, 182 
Mehdi Ali Khan, mission to the Court of 

Persia, i, 377 
Mehmandost, i, 331 
Mehrab, Khan, ii, 7 

Melon, pretender to Seleucid throne, i, 95 
Memnon, Greek general, i, 60 
Menander, Bactrian general, afterwards 

king,i, 90, 93, 96, 97, 100 
Merkits, the, i, 220 

Merv, town, i, 2, 90, 122, 125, 159, 160, 

161, 162, 167, 174, 177 X 7 8 194' 20 5' 

206, 211, 215, 222, 243, 250, 286, 

347; ii, 88 

Merwan II, last Caliph of the Umayyad 

dynasty, i, 172 
Meshed, i, 199, 250, 263, 268, 308, 330, 

33 2 347 35i> 356, 373' 4M ", 88 
Mesopotamia, i, 19, 62, 81, 87, 96, 108, 
128; evacuation of, by Hadrian, 115, 
116, 119, 132 
Metcalfe, C. T., mission to Ranjit Singh 

i 387 

Mian Kangi, district of, ii, 208 
Michni Pass, ii, 1 14 
Midleton, Lord, ii, 223 
Mihirakula (son of Toramana), reign of, i 

138; people's rising against, 139 

Miletus, fall of, i, 50, 60, 80 
Vliller, M., Russian Consul, ii, 209 
Viiltiades, battle of Marathon, i, 51 
Ming, Emperor, i, 119 
Vlingrelia, province of, i, 104 
Minorsky, Prof. V., 14 footnote 
Minto, Lord, i, 380, 387 
Mir Alam of Seistan, i, 356 
Mir Ali Khel, ii, 278 
Mir Ali Shir, Nawai, Vizier, i, 271 
Mir Alum, Governor of Balkh, ii, 80, 126 
Miranshah (son of Tamerlane), i, 260 
Mir Atalik, ii, 122, 123 
Mire, battle of the, i, 254 footnote 
Mirkhwand, historian, i, 267 footnote , 

269, 271 * *" 

Mir Wais, sent to Isfahan as prisoner, i, 

Mitannu, i, 34 
Mithra, god, i, 34 

Mithradates I, King of Parthia, i, 95 
Mithradates II, King of Parthia, i, 99, 

101, 104 

Mithridates, King of Pontus, i, 81 
Mithridates VI, King of Pontus, i, 104; 

and Mithridatic wars, 105-106 
Mithridatic wars, i, 105-106 
Moa, vide Maues 
Modhar Arabs, i, 175 
Moghul dynasty, i, 276 et seq. 
Moghulistan, i, 254 
Moghuls, i, 306, 307, 309, 315, 317, 319, 

320, 323, 324, 325 
Mogulkot, post of, ii, 278 
Mohamera, ii, 66 

Mohan Lai, i, 403 footnote^ ii, 28 footnote 
Mohenjo-Daro, city of, i, 25, 26 
Mohiuddin, Shaykh, surveyor, ii, 213 
Mohmand, ii, 176 

Mohmands, the, i, 283; ii, 176; settle- 
ment of the boundaries, 186 
Mokanna (" Veiled Prophet of Khura- 
san "), rebellion of, i, 175 
Molon, Satrap of Media, i, 84 
Mongolia, i, 143, 149, 150 
Mongolians, i, 1 3 

Mongols, the: policy of, i, 218; origin 
of, 218; first campaigns in Central 
Asia, 220; capture of Urganj, 222; 
devastation of Khurasan, 222$ Merv 
and Nishapur destroyed, 223; cam- 
paigns against Jalal-ud-Din, 223-225*; 
invade Europe, 228; capture and sack 
Baghdad, 232 

Moore, Thomas (poet), i, 192 
Mornington, Earl of (later the Marquess 

Wellesley), i, 374 
Morrison, J. L., ii, 69 footnote 
Moscow, i, 257 
Mosul, i, 28, 206, 285 
Motamid, Caliph, i, 181, 182 



Motaaim, Caliph, i, 180 

Muaffak (brother of Caliph Motamid), i, 
181, 182 

Muavia, Caliph, founder of U mayyad 
dynasty, i, 159 

Muazzam, Prince, i, 323 

Mughan plain, i, 336 

Mughlani Begum (mother of Muin-ul- 
Muik),i, 358 

Muhabbat Khan, Chief of Kalat, i, 313, 

Muhammad, Prophet, i, 125, 146; 
founds a mighty empire, 157; 203, 249 

Muhammad Afzal (son of Dost Muham- 
mad), ii, 6ij appointed governor of 
AfgAar*Turkistan, 64 

Muhammad Akram (son of Dost Muham- 
mad), ii, 6 1 

Muhammad Ali (head of the Abbas id 
family), i, 172 

Muhammad Ali (son of Shir Ali), ii, 72; 
killed at battle of Kujbaz, 73 

Muhammad Amin, Governor of Kandahar, 
ii, 715 killed at battle of Kujbaz, 73 

Muhammad Azim Khan (eldest of the 
Barakzai brothers), i, 392, 393 

Muhammad Azim (son of Dost Muham- 
mad), ii, 6 1 

Muhammad Bahiim, Governor of the 
Punjab, i, 209 

Muhammad bin Suri, i, 189 

Muhammad bin Zaid, i, 183 

Muhammad (brother of Sultan Sanjar), i, 

Muhammad Hakim Mir%a (half-brother 
of Akbar), i, 304; invades the Punjab, 

3 5 

Muhammad Hasan Khan, ii, 133 
Muhammad Hashim (brother of Nadir 

Khan), ii, 319 

Muhammad Husayn, Hazara, ii, 192 
Muhammad Husayn (father of Mirza 

Haidar), i, 283 
Muhammad Ibrahim Khan (a younger son 

of Shir Ali), ii, 72 

Muhammad Khan, Sirdar, Bayat, i, 369 
Muhammad Khan, Sultan, Governor of 

Peshawar, i, 393, 394, 397, 406 
Muhammad Khan Afghan, i, 330 
Muhammad Khudabanda (better known 

as Uljaitu), q.v. 

Vuhammad Kuli Khan Kajar, i, 349 
Muhammad Nabi Mirxa, ii, 107 footnote 
Muhammad Rank, Afghan general, ii, 72 
Muhammad Rahim Khan, Sayyid, ii, 125 
Muhammad Saidal Khan, i, 332, 333 
Muhammad Sam, i, 242 
Muhammad Sarwar, ii, 129 
Muhammad Shah, accession of, i, 323, 324 
Muhammad Shah, Emperor of Delhi, i, 

339* 34i 344 

Muhammad Shah, successor of Path Ali 

Shah, i, 401, 402, 403, 4075 second 

siege of Herat, 408 et seq. 
Muhammad Shah Khan, Ghilzai Chief, 

ii, 63 
Muhammad Sharif, Governor of Farah 

and Girishk, ii, 71; defeated at battle 

of Kujbaz, 73 

Muhammad (son of Ismail), i, 230 
Muhammad (son of Kasim), i, 165 
Muhammad (son of Mahmud), i, 193 
Muhammad Wali Khan, Sirdar, heads 

Afghan Mission to Europe, ii, 292 
Muhammad Yusuf Sadozai, ii, 66, 67 
Muhammad Zaman Khan, i, 330 
Muin-ul-Mulk (son of Kamr-ud-Din, the 

Vizier), i, 355, 357 

Muir, Sir William, i, i $j footnote; ii, 104 
Muizz-ud-Din Muhammad, i, 210; Indian 

campaigns of, 211-212$ defeat of, by 

Ala-ud-Din of Khwarizm, 212; last 

campaign of, in India, 213; death, 213 
Muizz-ud-Din (third son of Ghiyas-ud- 

Din), reign of, i, 244 
Mukarrab Khan, regent, i, 259 
Mukim (son of Zunnun Arghun), i, 280, 

283, 284 
Mulahida (or " Heretics "), sect of, i, 230, 

Mulhar Rao Holkar, ruler of Indore, i, 

Multan, i, 68, 165, 188, 190, 205, 209, 

211,224, 230, 259, 333, 357 
Mumtaz Mahal, Shahjahan's unfailing 

love for, i, 319 

Munro, General Sir Charles, ii, 272, 278 
Murad Baksh, i, 318 
Murchakhar, i, 331 
Murghab River (or Aksu River), i, 6, 21 ij 

ii, 162, 163 

Murray, Dr. Gilbert, i, 226 footnote 
Murshid, Mulla, Baber's ambassador to 

Sultan Ibrahim and to Daulat Khan, i, 

Musa (elder son of the Caliph Mehdi), 

known as Hadi, q.v. 
Musa Khan of Herat, Afghan Com- 
missioner, ii, 209 

Musa (son of Jafar-al-Sadik), i, 230 
Musandam, Cape, i, 122 
Mushk-i-Alam, religious leader of the 

Ghilzais, ii, 190 

Muslim bin Said al-Kilabi, i, 166 
Muspratt, General Sir Sydney, adviser to 

the Dobbs Mission, ii, 294 
Mussoorie Conference, ii, 289-290, 360- 

363, Appendix G 
Mustasim BUlah, last Caliph of Baghdad, i, 


Mutadid, Caliph, i, 182, 183 
Mutawakkil, Caliph, i, 180 

2 D 



Muttra, i, 190 

Muzaffar dynasty, i, 257 

Muzaffar Husayn Mtrza, Safavi Governor 

of Kandahar, i, 307 
Muzaffar Khan of Multan, i, 387 
MuzafTar-ud-Din, Amir, of Bukhara, ii, 

79, 80, 123 
Muziris, port, i, 122 
Mysore, i, 75, 321, 324, 374 

Nab, i, 21 1 

Nabonidus, King, i, 44 

Nabopolassar, King, i, 385 forms alliance 

with Cyaxares, 38-39 
Nadirabad: Nadir Shah names town, i, 

337> population of Kandahar moved to, 


Nadir Khan, ii, 270; movements during 
Third Afghan War, 277; besieges the 
fort at Thai, 279; defeat of, 2805 
returns to Afghanistan to fight against 
Habibulla, 319; suffers reverses, 320; 
but succeeds at third offensive, 320-3215 
proclaimed king, 3215 summary of his 
early career, 322; Soviet- Afghan Treaty, 
3245 publishes declaration of policy, 
324; assassination of, 327 

Nadir Kuli Beg (later Nadir Shah), i, 

Nadir Shah: recovers lost provinces of 
Persia, i, 325-338; origin of, 328; 
defeats a force of Abdalis, 329; decides 
to crush Abdalis, 330; defeats Ashraf at 
Mehmandost, 331; reoccupies Hamadan, 
Kermanshah and Tabriz, 331; besieges 
Herat, 3325 captures Herat, 333; defeat 
of, 334; victory of Baghavand, 335; 
coronation of, 336; prepares to attack 
Kandahar, 3365 march on Kandahar, 
337 siege of Kandahar, 337; campaign 
in Baluchistan, 337; surrender of Kan- 
dahar, 337; 338; despatches an envoy 
to Delhi, 339; capture of Kabul and 
Peshawar, 340; battle of Karnal, 342; 
Delhi campaign, 342-344; Sind cam- 
paign, 344-345; campaign against 
Bukhara and Khiva, 345; Daghestan 
campaign, 347; second battle of Bagh- 
avand, 348-349; risings in Persia, 349; 
assassination and character of, 349, 350 

Nagarahara, province of, i, 1 54 

Nagarahara (modern Jalalabad), city of, i, 


Nagor, i, 209 
Nagrakot, i, 196 
Nahr-ul-Kalb, Beirut, i, 28 
Naimans, the, i, 220 
Najib Khan, Rohilla Chief, i, 360 
Najib-ud-Daula, i, 362, 363 
Nakhichevan, i, 256 
Namri (Kurdistan), i, 35 

Nana, goddess, image of, carried off to 

Susa, i, 22; restored to Erech, 22; 31 
Nangrahar, i, 196 
Nao Nehal Singh, ii, 19 
Napoleon Buonaparte: expedition to 

Egypt, i, 376; plans to attack India 

across Persia, 377 
Naram-Sin, Stele of, i, 22 
Narbada, i, 320 
Narmashir, i, 85 
Narses, Sasanian monarch, campaigns of, 

i, 129-130 
Nasatya, god, i, 34 
Nasir, Caliph, i, 217, 221, 227 
Nasir Khan, Governor of Kabul, i, 354 
Nasir Khan, Subadar of Kabul at d Vesha- 

war, i, 340, 341 

Nasir Khan of Kalat, i, 356, 359, 371 
Nasir Mirxa (brother of Baber), i, 284 
Nasir-ud-Din, Shah, ii, 75 
Nasir-ud-Din of Tus, astronomer and 

philosopher, i, 236 
Nasir-ul-Mulk (eldest son of the Mehtar 

of Chitral), ii, 187 
Nasr, Samanid prince, i, 182 
Nasratabad, ii, 95 
Nasr ibn Sayyar, Governor of Khurasan, i, 

167; the campaigns of, 168, 171 
Nasr II, reign of, 183-184; 198 
Nasrulla Khan, Shahxada (second son of 

Abdur Rahman), his visit to England, 

ii, 193 
Nasrulla Khan, Sirdar ', ii, 226, 230, 246, 

257, 258, 260, 261, 263 
Nasrulla Khan of Bukhara, ii, 1 1 
Nasrulla Adirxa (second son of Nadir Shah), 


National Council, i, 336 

Nawab Jabbar Khan (brother of Dost Mu- 
hammad), ii, 1 1 

Nawab Zaman Khan Muharnmadzai, ii, 


Naxos, i, 50 
Nazr Muhammad: raids of, 314; pursued 

by Moghul army, 315; Abbas helps 

with troops, 316 
Nearchus, i, 68, 69 
Near East, i, 17 
Nebuchadnezzar, King (son of Nabo- 

polassar), i, 39, 40, 41 
Necho, King of Egypt, i, 40 
Nehavend, battle of, i, 159, 170 
Nek Muhammad, Sirdar, ii, 117 
Nero, Emperor, i, 1 13 
Nesselrode, Count, i, 405, 407 
New Chaman, i, 2, 3, 5; ii, 202, 205, 207 
Nicaea (modern Kabul), i, 8, 66 
Nicanor, Satrap of Media, i, 74 
Nicephorus, Emperor, i, 177 
Nicholson, John, Deputy-Commissioner 

of Peshawar, ii, 7 1 



Nicolls, Sir Jasper, Commander-in- Chief 
in India, ii, 38, 47 

Nicopolis, i, 261 

Niedermayer, Captain Oskar, German 
Agent, ii, 2515 leader of German 
Mission to the Amir, 255; his scheme 
for a coup d? Itat found to be impracti- 
cable, 258$ failure of his Mission, 258 

Nile, valley of, i, 17, 18, 25, 72 

Nineveh, i, 28, 31, 32, 36, 385 Cyaxares' 
first assault, 39; final assault and fall, 

.39> 62 

Ninhar (Ningrahar), King of, i, 14. 

Nisa, i, 223 

Nishapur, i, 159, 172, 174, 181, 182, 184., 
194^ 2*0, 205, 215, 222, 223, 225, 236, 
250, 263, 308, 356 

Nisibis, i, 116, 126, 127, 130, 139, 144 

Nizak, Prince of Badghis, i, 1615 rebellion 
of, 162 

Nizam, dynasty of the, i, 323 

Nizami, poet, i, 269-270 

Nizam-ul-Mulk, i, 206, 207, 230; Vice- 
roy of the Deccan, 340, 341, 342 

Noman, Arab Chief, i, 146 

Norman, Sir Henry, ii, 104 

Northbrook, Lord, proposed guarantee, ii, 
99; 100, 101, 102, 104, 106 

Northern Afghanistan, i, 25 

Northern Khurasan, i, 333 

North-West Frontier: problem of, an 
economic question, i, 319; Auranzeb 
leaves, 320; main body of imperial 
forces on, 321; negotiations during 
Durand Mission, ii, 175; 196 

North-West Frontier Province, i, 3, 13 

Noruz, Mongol general, i, 240, 243 

Noshirwan the Just, King: accession, i, 
141; peace with Rome, 141; sack of 
Antioch, 141} second peace with 
Rome, 142; the Lazica campaigns, 
142$ third war with Rome, 144; death, 

Nott, General Sir William, ii, 15, 22; 
expedition against the Ghilzais and the 
Durranis, 22, 23; 27; despatches a 
brigade to Kabul, 29; 37; at Kandahar, 
42, 43; 49; battle of Ghoaine, 51; 
enters Ghazni, 52$ reaches the Kabul 
Valley, 52 

Nowshera, i, 393 

TJuchens, the, founders of the Kin 
dynasty, i, 214 

Nuh II, i, 184, 187, 199 

Nurjahan, wife of Emperor Jahangir, i, 

3 J 3> 3H 

Nur Muhammad, Sayyid, Afghan Com- 
missioner, ii, 95, 99, roo, 104 

Nur Muhammad Alizai, i, 352; conspiracy 
against Ahmad Shah, 352, 353 

Nushki, i, 3, 4, 1 1 

Nushtigin, Governor of the Punjab, i, 
207, 208 

Obaydulla, Indian seditionist, ii, 287; ex- 
pelled from Afghanistan, 296 
Ochus, Prince, afterwards Darius III, q.v. 
Odenathus of Palmyra, i, 128 
O'Dwyer, Sir Michael, ii, 271 footnote 
Ogotay (third son of Chenghis), i, 226, 

227, 2285 death, 228 
Olympias (wife of Philip of Macedonia), i, 

5 8 7 2 ^73 

Omar Khayyam, i, 136, 199, 200-201 
Omar Shaykh Mirxa (father of Baber), i, 

270, 271$ death, 276 
Omar II, i, 169 
Onon, River, i, 226 
Orakzais, i, 307 
Orenburg, ii, 83, 84 
Orissa, i, 307 

Orkhan Beg (son of Othman Chuk), i, 249 
Orobazus, Parthian ambassador, i, 104 
Orodes II, King of Parthia, i, 107, 108, 


Orta Bel Pass, ii, 182 
Osh, i, 221, 279 
Osman, Topal: Turkish army under, i, 

334; defeat of, and death, 335 
Osmanli Turks, i, 249, 261 
Osroes, King of Parthia, i, 114-115 
Ostrogoths, the, {,141 
Othman Chuk, eponymous founder of 

Ottoman dynasty, i, 249 
Othman Khan of Samarkand, i, 213, 220 
Otrar, i, 265 
Ottoman Empire, i, 332 
Oudh, i, 297, 323, 374, 375 
Outram, Captain (later Sir James), in First 

Afghan War, ii, 18; in Anglo- Persian 

War, 66 

Oways, Sultan, Barlas Chief, i, 269 
Oxus, River: valley of, i, i; 2, 5; its 

main source, 6; 7, 18, 13, 65, 99, 117, 

122, 135, 143, 153, 156, 160, 161, 

185, 187, 1 88, 203, 206, 21 5, 216, 222, 

223, 243, 246, 249, 253, 255, 259, 264, 

3H 34 1 * 344> 345' 3 6 9> 88 
Oxyartes, Governor of Bactria, i, 66 
Oxyartes, Satrap of the Paropamisus, i, 


Pacorus (son of Orodes), i, no, nij defeat 

of, and death, 111-112 
Pacorus II, King of Parthia, i, 1 14 
Paetus, Roman general, i, n 3 
Paianda Khan, Chief of the Barakzais, i, 

3 8i 

PakAfunivali, Pathan code of honour, i, 16 
Palaeologus, Emperor Michael, daughter 

married to Abaka Khan, i, 236 
Palestine, i, 23, in 



Palmer, Colonel, ii, 4.3, 55 

Palmerston, Lord, i, 400, 405, 410 

Palmyra, i, 128 

Pamir, River, tributary of River Oxus, i, 

Pamirs, i, 2, 5, 6, 119, 120, 121, 156, 
232, 309; Anglo-Russian rivalry, ii, 
178; boundary questions finally settled, 
1 80 

Pan-Chao, Chinese general, i, 119$ estab- 
lishes authority of China to Caspian 
Sea, 119; 1 20 

Panipat: battle of, i, 291-292, 304} third 
battle of, 362 

Panjdeh Crisis: Russian advance on the 
Panjdeh Oasis, ii, 162} defeat of the 
Afghans, 164; settlement of, 165 

Panjshir, i, 251 

Panjshir, River, i, 7, 66, 90, 118, 121, 

'54> "> S3 

Papak (father of Ardeshir), i, 125 
Paphlagonia, i, 104 
Parachinar, ii, 277 
Parapamisadae, the, i, 75 
Paris, Matthew, i, 227, 231 
Parker, E. H., i, 142 footnote 
Parmenio, Macedonian general, i, 61 
Parni, the, i, 83 

Paropamisus, i, 4, 5, 90, 94, 96, 101, 118 
Parsa (or Pars), province of, vide Fars 
Parsii, the, i, 100, 101 
Parsua, district of, i, 35, 37 
Parsumash, district of, i, 30, 37, 38, 39, 


Parthamasiris, Prince of Armenia, i, 1 14 

Parthia, i, 39, 44, 635 rise of, 82$ earliest 
mention of, 82-83; 85, 87, 90, 93, 95, 
99, 100, 10 1 ; first intercourse with 
Rome, 104; Armenian aggressions 
against, 105; internal affairs, 107; 
invasion of, by Craasus, 108; battle 
of Carrhae, 1095 invasion of Syria, 
in; Mark Antony's expedition, 112; 
struggle for Armenia, 113; last invasion 
of, by Rome, 116} summary, 117 

Parushapur (Peshawar), i, 120, 154, 155 

Parysatis (wife of Darius II), i, 53, 56 

Pasargadae, i, 41, 45; occupation of, by 
Alexander the Great, 625 69 

Pashtu (language), i, 16 

Pasiani, the, i, 100 

Pasni, i, 68 

Patala, i, 68,91 

Pataliputra (Patna), i, 75, 90, 93, 96 

Patan, capital of Gujarat, i, 21 1 

Pathans, the, i, 1 3 

Payanda Khan, Sirdar, Barakzai (Sarafraz 
Khan), i, 368, 371 

Paykand, i, 160, 161 

Peel, Sir Robert, ii, 39 

Peiwar Kotal* i, 3; ii, battle of, ill, 112 

Pelly, Sir Lewis, Commissioner of Pesha- 
war, ii, 104, 105 
Pelusium, i, 46 
Penkelaotis, i, 66 
Perdiccas, Macedonian regent, i, 71, 72, 

Pergamum, i, 103, 105 

Perovski, Count, ii, 84 

Peroz (son of Yezdigird III), i, 160 

Persepolis, i, 18, 41; occupation of, by 
Alexander the Great, 62; 94, 127, 192, 

Perseus, King of Macedonia, i, 92, 103 

Persia: Persians and Medes conquer 
Iranian Plateau, i, 33 et seq.\ Cyrus the 
Great, 43 et seq.\ Alexander tJ.e'Great, 
58 et seq,\ decline of Persian Empire, 146 
et seq.\ first invasion of, by Arabs, 157; 
battle of Khadesiya, 158; Arab con- 
quest of, 159; Abbasid dynasty and its 
decay, 171 et seq.\ growth of Persian 
language, 197; birth of Persian litera- 
ture, 198; Tamerlane's early campaigns 
in, 256; sieges of Kandahar, 316-317; 
Nadir Shah, 328 et seq.', French negotia- 
tions with, 377-379; siege of Herat, 
400; mission of Captain Burnes, 401 
et seq.\ Anglo-Persian Treaty of 1853, 
ii, 65; occupation of Herat, 65-66; 
Anglo-Persian War of 1857, 66; cam- 
paigns against the Turkoman, 88 

Persian Baluchistan, i, n, 183 

Persian Gulf, i, 19, 20, 21, 27, 29, 87, 
93, 115, 119, 183, 245, 248, 285; ii, 


Pertinax, Emperor, i, 1 16 

Peshawar, i, 8, 118, 122, 187, 189, 197, 

211, 213, 289, 295, 303, 309, 320; 

capture of, by Nadir Shah, 341; 354, 

37 373 3 8 3> 3 8 5 39 2 > 397 4 6 > 

ii, 2, 9, 14, 39, 64, 104, 108, 323 
Peshin, district of, ii, 156, 157 
Peshiva^ i, 324 
Pesth, i, 228 

Peter the Great, annexations of, i, 327 
Petre, F. Loraine, ii, 139 footnote 
Phaleron, i, 52 

Pharnaces (son of Mithridates VI), i, 1 1 1 
Pharsalia, i, no 
Phasis, River, i, 107 
Phayre, Major-General, his march via 

Quetta, to relieve Kandahar, ii, 150 * 
Philip, King of Macedonia, i, 57, 58; 

battle of Chaeronea, 58; assassinated, 

? 8 

Philip Arrhidaeus, i, 71, 73 
Philip le Bel of France, i, 241 
Philip (son of Cassander), i, 77 
Philip V of Macedon, i, 86 
Philippi, battle of, i, 1 1 1 
Phoenicia, i, 107 



Phraates II (son of Mithradates), King of 
Parthia, i, 96, 99 

Phraates III, King of Parthia, i, 106 

Phraates IV, i, 112, 113 

Phraortes, the Mede, i, 36; reduced 
Teispes to position of vassal ruler, 38 

Phrygia, i, 72, 79 

Piraeus, i, 105 

Pirai (successor of Balkatigin), ruler of 
Ghazni, i, 186 

Pir Muhammad (son of Jahangir), i, 259, 

Pir Paimal, village of, ii, 14.8 

Pishin, ii, 114 

Pithon, satrap of Media, i, 72 

Plataea,<ibattle of, i, 52 

Pliny, i, 44, 123 

Plutarch, i, 52, 74, 77, 104, 107, 109, 

Poles, the, i, 228 

Pollock, General Sir George: at Peshawar, 
ii, 39; 44; forces the Khaibar Pass, 46- 
475 relief of Jalalabad, 47; his reply to 
Ellenborough, 48; 49$ advances to 
Gandamak, 49, 50; battle of Tezin, 
50; reoccupation of Kabul, 56-57; 94, 
96, 112 

Pollock, General Sir Richard, Commis- 
sioner of Peshawar, ii, 94; 102 

Polybius, the historian, i, 82, 92, 95 

Polyperchon, Regent of Macedonia, i, 73 

Polytimetus (now Zerafshan) Valley, i, 

Pompey: takes command of Roman 

armies,!, 106, 107; results of campaign, 

107$ fight for power with Caesar, no 
Pontus, i, 107, in 
Poona, i, 320, 374, 375 
Porus, King, Alexander's battle with, i, 

Pottinger, Lieutenant Eldred: second 

siege of Herat, i, 408 and footnote^ 

saves Herat from falling, 410; at 

Charikar, ii, 29; 42, 54, 55; verdict of 

his court-martial, 58 
Pottinger, Sir Henry, the Resident in 

Cutch, i, 408; ii, 6, 8 
Praaspa, capital of Media Atropatene, i, 

112 (later Shiz, q.v.) 
Pratap, Indian seditionist, ii, 287 
Prester John, i, 220 and footnote 
iPrimrose, General J. M., ii, 140 
Prithvi Raja, the Chauhan Raja of Delhi, 

i, 212 

Procopius, the historian, i, 1 34 
Prophthasia (now Farah), i, 64 
Psammatichus III (son of King Amasis), 


Psyttalea, Island of, i, 52 
Ptolemy, King of Egypt, i, 72, 74, 76, 


Ptolemy Keraunus, i, 78; assassination of 
Seleucus, 79; defeat of, and death, 79 

Ptolemy Philadelphus, reign of, i, 78 

Ptolemy III (Euergetes), reign of, i, 81, 
83, 84 

Publius (son of Crassus), i, 109 

Pul-i-Khisti, ii, 163 

Pul-i-Sanghin, i, 286 

Punic Wars: First, i, 85; Second, i, 86 

Punjab, the, i, 48, 57, 67, 93, 94, 97, 125, 
188,208, 211,259, 281,288, 289,290, 
291, 303, 323; Ahmad Shah's first 
invasion of, 3545 second invasion, 
355; third invasion, 357; fourth 
invasion, 358} seized by the Marathas, 
358-359; dominated by the Sikhs, 
366; 372, 373, 392 

Pura, i, 68, 69 

Purdil Khan (brother of Dost Muhammad 
Khan), i, 394 

Pushyamitra, Commander-in-Chief to 
Asoka, i, 75 

Pydna, battle of, i, 92 

Pyne, Salter (later Sir Salter), ii, 173 and 

Pyrrhus, Prince of Epirus, i, 77, 78 

Pythia, the, i, 91 

Quetta, ii, 6, 7, n, 106, no, 114, 156, 

Rafi bin Lais, i, 178, 182 

Rafi ibn Harthama, i, 182, 183 

Raghunath Rao, i, 358 

Rahman (son of the murdered Abdullah 
Khan Sadozai), i, 330 

Rahmdil Kahn, ii, 65 

Rajputs, the, i, 212, 293, 294, 320 

Ram Hormuz, i, 27 

Ram Raja, i, 321, 324 

Rana Sangraur Singh, generally called 
Sanga, i, 293, 296 

Ranjit Singh, Raja of Lahore, i, 380, 381; 
British Mission to, 386-387; 389, 393, 
397> < 39 8 > 399> 4-06,407} Macnagh ten's 
mission to, ii, 1-2; 3, 9 

Raphia, battle of, i, 84 

Ras Malan, i, 68 

Ravi, River, i, 25, 291 

Rawalpindi, Peace Treaty of, ii, 284 

Rawlinson, Captain (later Sir) Henry, ii, 
22, 36, 37 footnote, 42, 43, 59, 65 foot- 
note, 66 footnote, 83 footnote 

Rawlinson, Prof., i, 36 footnote 

Rawlinson, Sir Henry, i, 137, 379 footnote, 
402 footnote 

Ray, vide Rei 

Raymond, Count of Tripoli, i, 231 

Regiatan Desert, i, 4, 1 1 

Rei, i, 174, 177, 178, 192, 206, 216, 273 

Rennell, Major, " the Father of English 



Geography", i, 13; surveyed Ganges 
Valley in 1764, 13; and Himalayas, 

Resht: occupied by Peter the Great, i, 

327; the Treaty of, 334 

Rhagae (near Tehran), the medieval Rei, 

Rhodes, i, 76 

Ridgeway, Colonel (later Sir) West, British 
Commissioner, ii, 161, 163; Russo- 
Afghan Boundary Commission, 166; 
the Khamiab and Khwaja Salar question 
successfully settled with Russia, 167- 
1685 178 

Rig-Veda, the, i, 8 

Rim-Sin, Ring of Elam, i, 23 

Rimush, successor to Sargon I, i, 21 

Ripon, Lord, Viceroy of India, ii, 133, 152 

Riza, Imam, i, 250, 264 

Riza Kuli (son of Nadir Shah), i, 332, 
3415 blinding of, 348 

Roberts (father of Lord Roberts), Brigadier- 
General, ii, 27 

Roberts, Lord, ii, 100, 107 footnote, no 
footnote, in, 112, 1 1 6, 117; enters 
Kabul, 1 18; proclamation of, 118, 1195 
132, 133, 136; march from Kabul to 
relief of Kandahar, 146, 147, 149 

Robertson, Dr. (later Sir) George, Political 
Agent at Gilgit, ii, 184 Z.K& footnote 

Rockhill, W. W., i, i\% footnote 

Rodwell, General, i, 20 1 footnote 

Roe, Sir Thomas, i, 312 

Rohtas, fort of, i, 305 

Rome, i, 85, 86, 87; battle of Magnesia, 
86; battle of Pydna, 92; eastward 
expansion of, 103; first intercourse 
with Parthia, 104; Mithridatic wars, 
105; struggle for Armenia, 113; the 
last invasion of Parthia, 1 16; last battle 
with Parthia, 116; Ardeshir and, 125- 
126; campaigns of Shapur I, 127; cam- 
paigns of Narses, 129; campaigns of 
Shapur the Great, 130-131; treaty 
with Armenia, 131; Julian's expedi- 
tion, 131; treaty with Shapur III, 132; 
campaign of Bahram Gur, 134; rela- 
tions with Yezdigird II, 136; Kobad's 
first war, 137-138; Kobad's second 
war, 139-140; peace treaty with 
Noshirwan, 141; Noshirwan's third 
war, 144 

Roos-Keppel, Colonel (later Sir) George, 
ii, 244 

Roshan, i, 6; ii, 160, 174 

Roshanais, a fanatical sect, i, 307 

Ross, Major-General, ii, 132 

Ross, Prof. E. D., i, 27 -6 footnote 

Ross, Sir Denison, 157 footnote, 252 foot- 

Rotas, fortress of, i, 397 

Roux, Charles, i, 377 footnote 

Roxana (wife of Alexander the Great), i, 

Rubruquis, William of, Mission to the 
Mongols, i, 229 

Rudagi, Persian poet, i, 198 

Rukn-ud-Din (son and successor of 
Shams-ud-Din), i, 243 

Rukn-ud-Din (son of Taj-ud-Din), i, 243 

Russell, Lord Odo, ii, 109 footnote 

Russell, Major, retreat of, in Third Afghan 
War, ii, 278 

Russia, i, 4, 6, 228, 257, 2$8, 327, 334; 
declares war on Turkey, 336; 398, 400, 
407; ii, 79, 80; first Khivan expedition, 
83; advance of, across Centraf Asia, 
83 et seq.y further conquests and 
annexation of Khiva, 85-87; Anglo- 
Russian agreement of 1873, 87; Russo- 
Turkish campaign, 89; 98, 99, too, 
102, 103, 105, 106, 107, 108; en- 
courages Abdur Rahman, 127; her 
policy in Central Asia supported by 
Germany, 162; Panjdeh Crisis, 162 
et seq., 178; Anglo-Russian Boundary 
Commission of 1895, 181; Russo- 
Afghan relations during the reign of 
Amanulla, 287; policy of Soviet 
Government and its reaction on feeling 
in Afghanistan, 290; British-Russian 
trade agreement, 292; Soviet- Afghan 
treaty, 324 

Russian Turkistan, ii, 98 

Russo-Afghan Boundary Commission, ii, 
1 66; the question of Khamiab and 
Khwaja Salar, 167; Ridgeway's success- 
ful settlement with Russia, 167-168; 
the signature of the final protocols, 

Russo-Turkish War, ii, 106 

Rustam, the champion, i, 124, 257; ii, 92 

Rutbil, King of Kabul, i, 163 

Saadabad, Treaty of, ii, 333 

Saadat Khan, Subadar of Oudh, i, 323, 
340, 341, 342 

Sabaji Bhonsle, Maratha Chief, successor 
to Adina Beg, i, 359 

Sabuktigin (son-in-law of Alptigin), i, 14, 
184, 1 8 6; annexed Kabul, 187; ap- 
pointed Governor of Khurasan, 187 

Sabzawar, i, 256 t 

Sachiu (Tun-huang), i, 247 

Sad, the Atabeg of Fars, i, 217, 227 

Sadashir Bhao (or Rao), i, 360, 362 

Sad bin Zangi, i, 235 

Sadhus, i, 317 

Sadi, poet, i, 235, 274 

Sado, Chief of the Durrani tribe, i, 351 

Sadozai dynasty, fall of, i, 391 

Safavi dynasty, i, 267, 285 



Safdar Jang, Nawab of Oudh, i, 355 
SafFar dynasty, rise of, i, 180, 183, 185, 


Sand Kuh, i, 3, 5 
Sagala (Sialkot), i, 90, 97 
Said bin Amr al-Harashi, i, 166 
Said bin Othman, Arab leader, i, 1 60 
Said Muhammad (half-witted son of Yar 

Muhammad), ii, 65 
Saif-ud-Din, Prince of Ghur, i, 209 
Saif-ud-Din Muhammad (son and successor 

of Ala-ud-Din), i, 21 1 
Saighan, ii, 15, 19 
St. John, Colonel (later Sir Oliver), ii, 141, 


Saka,*, /^j. 
Sakae, the, i, 35, 51, 83, 90, 98, 99, 100, 

1285 conquests of, ii, 101 
Sakastcne (Seistan), i, 99 
Salamis, battle of, i, 51-52 
Sale, Brigadier-General Robert: his march 

to Jalalabad, ii, 24-25; refuses to march 

back to Kabul, 26; 36, 37; siege of 

Jalalabad, 40 
Sale, Lady: Journal quoted, ii, 52 footnote, 

53> 54 
Saleh Muhammad, Akbar's officer, 

negotiates with British for release of 

captives, ii, 55 
Saleh Muhammad, Commander- in- Chief 

of Amanulla Khan, ii, 270, 273 
Salih ibn Nasr, ruler of Bust, i, 180, 181 
Salih Khan, Superintendent of Nadir 

Shah's household, i, 349 
Salih (uncle of Abul Abbas), i, 172 
Salim, Prince, i, 309, 311 
Sali Noyan, i, 243 
Salisbury, Lord: orders appointment of 

British officer to Herat, ii, 101 and 

footnote, 102, 108, 109, 134, 166, 167; 

letter of, to Abdur Rahman, 194 
Saman, founder of Samanid dynasty, i, 182 
Samand Khan, Naivab, ii, 120 
Samanid dynasty, i, 182; at its zenith, 

183; 185 
Samarkand, i, 7, 122, 152, 153, 160, 161, 

162, 165, 166, 167, 168, 173, 178, 

182, 184, 217, 221, 222, 226, 244, 

245, 249, 254, 258, 259, 260, 263, 
264, 265, 268, 269, 270, 271, 277, 
278, 279, 286, 287, 305, 313; ii, 86 

Samarra, i, 180 

Sambhaji Raja, i, 321 

Sambhar, i, 190 

Samsa-iluna, King of Babylon, i, 26 

Sandeman, Captain (later Sir) Robert, ii, 
105, 106, 155 

Sandracottus, vide Chandragupta 

Sanjar, Sultan, Seljuk, i, 208, 209, 210, 
2115 early career of, 214; defeat of, by 
the Kara Khitai, 214-215; defeat and 

capture of, by the Ghuzz, 2155 escape 

of, and death, 215; 231 
San Stephano, Treaty of, ii, 89 
Sara or Sarai, Barka's capital, i, 245, 249 
Sarakhs, i, 34, 256 
Sarasti, fortress of, i, 193 
Sarasvati (later Arachosia), i, 34 
Sardes, i, 43, 44, 52, 54; captured and 

burned, 50; surrendered to Alexander, 

60; 77, 84 
Sargon I, i, 21 

Sargon II, King of Assyria, i, 29 
Sari, i, 329 

Sarikol Valley, i, 6, 232 
Sarkar, Sir Jadunath, i, 311, 322, 351 


Sarmatians, the, i, 41 

Sasanian dynasty, i, 117, 121; rise of, 124 
Satibarzanes, Satrap of the Areians, i, 63- 

6 4 

Satok Boghra Khan, i, 184 

Sattagydia, i, 44 

Saxa, Decidus, Roman general, i, 1 1 1 

Sayyid dynasty, i, 287, 288 

Sazonoff, Serghei Dmitrievich, Russian 
statesman, ii, 250 

Schiemann, Doctor, ii, 84 footnote 

Schouvaloff, ii, 109 

Schveikovski, General Pavolo, Governor 
of Ferghana and Russian representative 
on Anglo-Russian Commission of 1895, 
ii, 181 

Scylax, a Greek, i, 48 

Scythians, the: invasion of, i, 36-37; 38, 
41, 65; campaign led by Darius, 48 

Seistan, i, 7, 47; Alexander the Great 
marches through, 64-65; 85, 90, 93, 
124, 159, 162, 170, 180, 181, 182, 
183, 187, 188, 191, 207, 243; Tamer- 
lane's campaign, 254, 283, 337; ii, 8; 
First Seistan Mission, 1872, 91 et seq.\ 
geographical outline, 91; a historical 
note on, 92; invaded by Nadir Shah, 
93; arbitration commission on, 94-96; 
201, 208, 209 

Seleucia, a Syrian city, i, 84, 115, 116, 
122, 129 

Seleucia, capital of Parthia, i, 108 

Seleucus I (Nicator): rise of, i, 72, 73, 74; 
reoccupies Babylon and creates an 
Empire, 74-75, 76, 77, 78; assassination 
of, 78 

Seleucus II (Callinicus), i, 81; battle of 
Ancyra, 81; 83 

Seleucus III, i, 82, 84 

Seleucus IV (Philopator), i, 91 

Scljuks, the, i, 194, 195; importance of, 
203; origin of, 204; foundation of 
dynasty, 205; Toghril Beg, 205; 
Seljuk dynasty at its zenith, 206 

Semineau, General, i, 408 



Semites, supremacy of, i, 32 

Seneca, i, 103 

Sennacherib, naval expedition of, i, 29; 

campaigns against Elam and Babylonia, 


Seringapatam, i, 375 
Seurk, Shaykh y i, 352 
Severus, Emperor, i, 116 
Severus Alexander, i, 125-126 
Shabkadar, ii, 186 
Shah Abbas the Great, i, 306; captures 

Herat, 308; his contemporaries, 310; 

makes peace with the Turks, 3115 

captures Kandahar, 312; subjects of, 

313; death, 314; 336 
Shah Abbas II, i, 306, 307, 308, 3 10, 3 1 1 , 

312,313, 314, 319 
Shah Ahmad (Durrani monarch), i, 9 
Shah Alam (Ali Gauhur, son of Alamgir 

II), i, 364, 366 

Shah Alam (Prince Muazzam), i, 323 
Shah Beg, i, 290 
Shah Husayn: taken from harem to ascend 

throne, i, 325; surrenders and abdicates, 

3 26 > 3 2 733 8 . o 

Shahin, Persian general, i, 148 
Shah Ismail, founder of the Safavi dynasty, 

i, 267, 285$ defeats the Uzbegs, 285- 

286, 312 
Shahjahan: marches with reinforcements 

to Mandu, i, 3125 Muhabbat Khan 

flies to join, 313; accession of, 314; 

the Uzbegs and, 314; 316; summary 

of the reign of, 318 
Shah Kamran, ii, 8 
Shah Mahmud Khan, Afghan Minister of 

War, ii, 324, 325 
Shah Mahmud Sultan (brother of Atsiz of 

Khwarizm), i, 216 
Shah Mansur, of the Muzaffar dynasty, i, 


Shah Morad of Bukhara, i, 369 
Shah Muhammad, an officer of Bairam 

Khan, i, 304 
Sha/mama, Persian epic, i, 48, 124, 125, 

199; ii, 92 

Shahr-Baraz, Persian general, i, 147, 148 
Shahrud, i, 410 
Shah Rukh (grandson of Nadir Shah), i, 

356; treaty with Ahmad Shah, 357; 


Shahrukh Mirxa, i, 305 
Shah Rukh (son of Tamerlane), i, 259, 

266, 267; reign of, 268 
Shah Shuja, vide also Shuja-ul-Mulk, ii, 

i 2> 3 5 7* 8 > I2 J 4 J 7 l8 20 > 
21, 23, 28, 40, 41$ last days of, 44, 

Shah Tahmasp, i, 299, 300, 304, 306 
Shahu (eldest son of Raja Sambhaji),i,32i, 


Shah Wali Khan, Afghan Prime Minister, 

3 2 5 
Shah Wali Khan, Ahmad Shah's Vizier, i, 

362, 363, 368 

Shahyar (youngest son of Jahangir), i, 314 
Shakespear, Captain Sir Richmond, ii, 8, 

56, 84 and footnote 
Shal, ii, 6, 14 

Shalmaneser III, King of Assyria, i, 35 
Shamakha, i, 327 
Shams-ud-Din, Muhammad I, founder of 

the dynasty of the Kurt Malih, i, 243 
Shams-ud-Din Khan, Governor of Ghazni: 

battle of Ghoaine, ii, 51; flight to 

Kabul, 52 
Shansab, ancestor of the natives of Ghur, 

i, 189 

Shansabani house of Ghur, i, 243 
Shapur Mirza (a younger son of Shah 

Shuja), ii, 61 
Shapur the Great: first campaigns against 

Rome, i, 1 30; Eastern campaigns, 1 30; 

second campaign against Rome, 1315 

expedition of Julian, 131; retreat and 

death of Julian, 132; restoration of the 

five provinces and of Nisibis, 132; death, 


Shapur I: invades Syria, i, 1265 second 
campaign against Rome, 127$ capture 
of Valerian, 127; the later years of, 
1285 contest with Odenathus, 128 

Shapur III, i, 133 

Sharaf-ud-Din, historian, i, 259 footnote, 
260, 262, 264, 273, 274 

Shash (modern Tashkent), i, 152, 163, 

Shawal range, i, 3 

Shaybani, Muhammad, known as Shahi 
Beg, i, 267, 271, 272, 278, 279, 282, 
284, 285, 286 

Shaybani tribe, i, 146, 305 

Shekabad, ii, 29 

Shelton, Brigadier, ii, 28, 29, 30; retreat 
from Kabul, 33 

Shen-Kwei (Kobad), i, 141 

Shensi, i, 149, 150, 214 

Sherpur, ii, 116, 118 

Sher Shah Lodi, i, 297, 298, 299 

Shias, the, i, 15, 179, 229, 230, 285, 353 

Shibarghan, i, 246, 315; ii, 63 

Shibar Pass, i, 1 54 

Shignan, i, 6} ii, 160, 174, 180 

Shikarpur, i, 395; ii, 5, 61 

Shilhak-Inshushinak, King of Elam, i, 27 

Shinwaris, the, Abdur Rahman's campaign 
against, ii, 189 

Shir Afzul, besieges British force at Chitral, 
ii, 184 

Shir Ali Khan, successor of Dost Muham- 
mad: announces his accession to Vice- 
roy, ii, 72; Afzal Khan and Azim Khan 



rebel against, 72-73; battle of Kujbaz, 
73 j rebellion of Abdur Rahman, 73- 
74; battle of Sheikhabad, 74; battle of 
Kalat-i-Ghilzai, 74; battle of Zurmat, 
76, 77; visits India, 77, 78; internal 
reforms, 78, 79; Persian Mission to, 
795 receives Mir Abdul Malik of 
Bukhara, 79-80; Yakub Khan rebels 
against, surrenders, and is forgiven, 81, 
82; flight and death of, 112, 113; 
Second Afghan War, 97 et seq.\ 118, 
123, 140 

Shiraz, i, 27, 181, 227, 235, 257, 331 
Shirin (wife of Khusru Parviz), i, 147 
Shir Muhammad Khan, General, i, 384, 

3851 t^e rebellion of, 386 
Shir Singh, Maharaja of the Punjab, ii, 61 
Shirwan, province of, i, 235, 312 
Shirzad, son of Masud III, i, 208 
Shiz (earlier name Praaspa, y.i/.), fortress 

of, i, 145 

Shuja-ud-Daula, Nawab of Oudh, i, 360 
Shuja-ud-Dola (son of Zaman Khan), ii, 


Shuja-ul-Mulk (brother of Zaman Shah), 
i, 381, 383, 384; ascends the throne, 
385, 386; expedition against Kanda- 
har, 394-3955 defeat of the Amirs of 
Sind, 395; advance on Kandahar, 395, 
396; murder of, ii. 45; vide also under 
Shah Shuja 

Shustar, i, 257 

Shutargardan Pass, ii, 112, 117 

Shutruk-Nahhunte, King of Elam, i, 27; 
stele of, 27 

Siah-Push Kafirs (Wearers of Black 
Clothes), i, 10, 15; converted to Islam, 
10; Imra, the Creator, god of, 10; 259 

Sialkot, vide also Sagala, i, 290 

Sibi, i, 290; ii, 1 14, 156 

Sidon, i, 76, 77 

Sikandarabad, i, 360 

Sikandar Gha<zi, Sultan, i, 288 

Sikandar Shah (Ahmad Khan), i, 302 

Sikaram, i, 5 

Sikhs, the, i, 358; the origin and rise of, 
364; dominate the Punjab, 366; 389 

Silesia, i, 228 

Silk Letters Conspiracy, ii, 258 

Simla, ii, 99, 100 

Simla Manifesto (Oct. i, 1838), ii, 3 and 

^Appendix A 

Simonich, Count, i, 404, 409 

Sinai desert, i, 248 

Sind, i, 9, 24, 48, 91, 97, 100, 135, 191, 
37 345 358, 3$9 372, 385* 39 2 > > 

Sind bad, a Zoroastrian, heads a rebellion, i, 


Singara (modern Sinjar), i, 130 
Sin-Kiang (or Chinese Turkistan), i, 6 

Sinope, i, 104 

Sir Daria (Jaxartes), River: Kutayba raids 

across, i, 164, 165, 167, 226, 265; 

Russian advance up the, ii, 85 
Sirhind, i, 125, 303, 341, 354, 361, 366 
Sir-i-Kul (Lake Victoria), i, 2, 6 
Sir-i-Pul, i, 278; ii, 63 
Sirjan, district of, i, 69 
Siroes, -vide Kobad II 
Sivaji, i, 320, 321 
Sivas, i, 261 
Skandagupta, ruler of the Gupta Empire, 

Skeen, General Sir Andrew, in Third 

Afghan War, ii, 275 
Skinner, Captain, ii, 35 
Skobeloff, General, ii, 89-90 
Skrine, F. H., i, 157 footnote 
Slade, Captain, ii, 145 
Smith, Bosworth, ii, 69 footnote 
Smith, Dr. Vincent, i, 71, 121, 12$ foot- 
note, 296 footnote , 311, 321 
Smith, Sir Euan, ii, 94 
Smith, Sidney, i, 17 footnote 
Smyrna, i, 262 
Snow Mountains, i, 153 
Sobraon, battle of, ii, 64 
Sogdiana, i, 44, 88, 94, 98 
Soghdian Rock, capture by Alexander the 

Great, i, 65 
Solomon, King, i, 122 
Somatash, ii, 179 
Somnath, i, 190 
Sophagasenos, King, i, 85 
Sophocles, i, 77 

Soteriadis, Prof., i, 50-51 And footnote 
Sothic cycle, introduction of, i, 18 
Souriya, Queen: on Afghan women, ii, 

304; Mullas object to her appearing 

unveiled in public, 310 
Spain, i, 85, 87 
Sparta, i, 49, 51, 56; Cyrus the Younger 

and, 54 

Spin-Baldak fort, ii, 281 
Spingawi Pass, ii, 1 1 1 
Spitamenes, Persian general, i, 65, 72 
Statira (daughter of Darius), i, 69, 71 
Statira (wife of Artaxerxes) II, i, 56 
Stein, Sir Aurel, i, 17 footnote, 62foatnote 1 

66, 88 footnote, \^foQtnote\ ii, 92, 184 
Stewart, Sir Donald, ii, no, 115, 117, 

129; his march from Kandahar to 

Kabul, 130; battle of Ahmad Khcl, 

I3M '33 

Stoddart, Colonel, i, 409, 411; ii, 8 
Stolietoff, Major-General, ii, 97; mission 

of, io6j 107, 108 
Strabo, i, 32 footnote, 82 
Strato I (son of Menander), i, 97, 101 
Stratonice (daughter of Demetrius), i, 76 



Sturt, Lieutenant, ii, 27 

Subutay, Mongol general, i, 236 

Sughd (Sughdiana), i, 166, 167, 173, 174 

Sughdians, the, i, 160, 161, 163 

Sui, national dynasty of the, i, 149 

Sukkur, ii, 4 

Sulaiman or Sulayman Mountains, i, 14, 

Sulayman, Caliph, i, 164 

Sulayman Mirxa (cousin of Humayun), i, 
300, 305 

Sulayman Mir%a (eldest son of Ahmad 
Shah), i, 368 

Sulla, i, 104-105 

Sultaniya, city of, i, 241, 242 

Su-Lu, Khakan of the Turgesh, i, 1 66, 1 68 

Sumer, i, 20, 22, 25, 33; conquered by 
Guti mountaineers, 22 

Sumerians, the, i, 20; influence on civiliza- 
tion, 24 

Sung-Yun, Chinese pilgrim, i, 138, 139 

Sunni Sect, the, i, 14, 353 

Suraj Mai, Jat Chief, i, 360, 361 

Surastrene, province of, i, 101 

Surat, i, 320 

Suritz, Bolshevist representative, ii, 288 

Susa, city of, i, 19, 22, 27, 30, 31, 37, 49, 
5 2 > 53' 54) Alexander's march to, 685 

7i7 2 >93 
Susia (medieval Tus), i, 63, 90 

Susiana, i, 81, 126 

Sutlej, River, i, 212, 303, 354, 387 

Swat Valley, i, 66, 155 

Syria, i, 21, 74, 76, 77, 79; invasion of 
(third Syrian War), 80; 85, 87, 96, 
107, 109, no; Parthian invasion, in; 
invaded by Vologases III, 115, 119; 
invasion of Noshirwan, 14*$ 14^ I7^> 
204,207,231,234; invaded by Ghazan 
Khan, 240 

Syrian Gates, i, 60 

Tabari, Abu Jafar Mohamed, historian, i, 
125 footnote, 137, 142, 162 and footnote 

Tabaristan, province of, i, 159; Yezid's 
campaign, i, 164-165; 181, 183, 193 

Tabas (or Tabbas), i, 230, 245, 381 

Tabriz, i, 227, 241, 245, 256, 263, 265, 
285,312, 327, 331, 332, 333 

Taghdumbash Valley, ii, 182 

Tahirid dynasty, i, 179, 182, 185 

Tahirids, the, i, 1 8 1 

Tahir " the Ambidextrous ", i, 178, 179 

TahirII,i, 181 

Tahmasp Mirza: i, 327, 329, 331; appoints 
Nadir commander-in-Chief, 329; defeat 
of, by Turks, 333; deposition of, 334 

Tai-tsung, Emperor (Li Shih-Min), 
founder of T'ang dynasty, i, 149-150, 
152; crushes the Western Turks, 152 

Tajiks, the, i, 14, 16 

Taj Mahal, i, 319 

Taj-ud-Din (brother of Izz-ud-Din), i, 


Taj-ud-Din Harb, Malik of Seistan, i, 21 1 
Taj-ud-Din Yildiz, Governor of Kerman, 

i> 213 

Takhtapul, ii, 121 
Takht-i-Suliman (Throne of Solomon), i, 


Takla Makan desert, i, 1 19 

Takrit, captured by Tamerlane, i, 258 

Tala, island of, i, 236 

Talas, i, 143 

Talha (son of Tahir), i, 180 

Talikan, i, 161, 223, 309 

Tambal, leader of the conspirators Against 
Baber, i, 278 

Tamerlane, i, 242, 244; appointed 
Governor of Kesh, 253; early adven- 
tures of, 253; Seistan campaign, 254; 
campaigns against Khwaja Ilyas, 254; 
struggle with Amir Husayn, 254; con- 
quest of Jatah and of Khwarizm, 255; 
early campaigns in Persia, 256; final 
conquest of Persia, Armenia, and 
Georgia, 256-257; campaigns against 
Toktamish, 257; again invades South 
Persia, 257; occupies Baghdad and 
captures Takrit, 258; invades and 
plunders India, 258-260; battle of 
Delhi, 260; last campaigns of, 260-261; 
defeats Bayazid, " the Thunderbolt ", 
261-262; projected invasion of the 
Chinese Empire, 265; death and char- 
acter, 265-266; tomb, 266; 267, 276, 
278, 288, 308 

T'ang dynasty, i, 149 

Tangier, i, 175 

Tanner, Colonel, at Kalat-i-Ghilzai, ii, 


Tapuria, i, 90 

Tara Bai, i, 324 

Taraghai, Amir (father of Tamerlane), i, 

Taraori, battle of, i, 212 

Taraz, i, 173, 184 

Tardu Shad, King of Tukhara (Tok- 
haristan), i, 1 53 

Tarikh-i-Rashidi, the, i, 270, 284 

Tarim, River, i, 119, 214, 220 

Tarn, W. W., i, 71, 72 footnote, 87, 88 
footnote, 90, 92, 94, 97, 101, i\%footn<^e 

Tarsus, i, 54 

Tartars, European designation for Mon- 
gols, (j.'V. 

Tashkent, i, 270, 277, 287; ii, 86, 97, 


Tashkurgan, ii, 121, 182 
Tasians, the, i, 18 

Ta-ta, Arab designation for Mongols, q.v. 
Taurus Mountains, i, 54, 82, 86, in 



Taxila, the city of, i, 66, 90, 97, 100, 101, 

Taxiles, King, i, 66 
Ta-yuan, the, i, 98 
Tegh Bahadur (youngest son of Har 

Govind), i, 365 and footnote 
Tehran, i, 329, 331, 347, 374, 401; ii, 


Teispes (son of Achaemenes), i, 37, 45 
Tejen (Kabul), River, i, 8 
Tekish, Khwarizm Shah, i, 216 
Ten Thousand, retreat of the, i, 55, 61 
Terek, River, i, 257 

Termez, i, 122, 153, 249, 259, 264, 315 
Teuman, King, i, 30 
TeutofiiKnights of Prussia, i, 228 
Tezin, ii, 35, 36; battle of, 50; 53 
Thai, fort of, ii, 279; relief of, 279 
Thales of Miletus, i, 40 
T /tanadar of the Persian frontier, i, 322 
Tharshish, a port, i, 122 
Thebes, i, 56, 58; destroyed by Alexander 

the Great, 59 

Theodora (wife of Uun Hasan), i, 272 
Theodore (brother of Heraclius), i, 148 
Thcodosiopolis (modern Erzerum), i, 134, 


Theophilus, Emperor, i, 180 
Thermopylae, i, 51, 78, 86 
Thessaly, i, 59 
Thrace, annexation of, by Darius, i, 48, 

495 5' 59 

Tian Shan Pass, i, 122 
Tiberius, Count, i, 144 
Tiberius, Emperor, i, 144 
Tibet, i, 13, 160 
Tien-Shan range, i, 151 
Tinis, i, 148, 227, 256, 336 
Tiglath-pileser I, King of Assyria, conquest 

of, i, 28 
Tiglath-pilcser IV, King, founder of New 

Assyrian kingdom, i, 29, 35 
Tigranes, King of Armenia, i, 104, 105, 

106, 107 

Tigri, village of, i, 53 
Tigris, River, i, 18, 19, 20, 28, 29, 30, 

39, 50, 55, 62, 108, 114, 115, ii6; 

Tilak, Commander of Hindu troops, i, 


Tilsit, Convention of, i, 379 
'iimarchus, Satrap of Media, i, 95 
Timurid dynasty, i, 9, 267; renaissance of 

art, 272 et seq.\ 285 
Timur Mirxa, i, 356, 358, 359 
Timur Shah, i, 367; accession of, 368; 
Sind campaign, 369; Bukhara cam- 
paign, 369; conspiracy against, 370; 
death, 370 

Timur (son of Shah Shiya), ii, 2, 9, n 
Tippu, Sultan of Mysore, i, 374 

Tiridates (Arsaces II), i, 83; annexed Hyr- 

cania, 83; 89 

Tiridates (son of Chosroes), i, 129 
Tiridates I of Parthia, i, 1 1 3 
Tochari, vide Yueh-chi 
Tochi Pass, ii, 171 
Tochi Valley, ii, 278 
Todd, Major, Envoy to Herat, ii, i, 8, 17, 

Toghril Beg, Seljuk king, i, 194, 2055 

death, 206 
Toghril Beg, " the Ingrate ", rebellion of, 

i, 196, 207 
Toghril III, i, 216 
Toktamish, defeat of, by Tamerlane, i, 

257 . 

Toramana, Ephthalite king, i, 138 
Torno, fort of, i, 320 
Toynbee, Arnold, ii, 29 1 footnote, 309 
Trajan, Emperor, i, 113; first campaign 

against Parthia, 114; second campaign 

against Parthia, 114-115; retreat of, 

11$; 207 
Transoxiana, i, 83, 160, 167, 168, 182, 

183, 184, 185, 204; invaded by 

Chenghiz Khan, 221; 236, 237, 252, 

256, 268, 269, 278 
Trapezus (modern Trebizond), i, 55 
Trasimene, i, 86 
Traxiane, i, 90 
Treaty of Berlin, ii, 107, 108 
Treaty of Paris, ii, 66, 67 
Treaty of Peace of August 8, 1919, iii 

358-359, Appendix F 
Trebizond, i, 263 
Trevor, Captain, ii, 3 1 
Trilochapula, last monarch of the Hindu 

Sahis, i, 189 
Tripartite Treaty, ii, 2 
Tripolis, i, 95 
Tsatsobi Pass, i, 341 
Tughluk dynasty, i, 258 
Tughluk Timur Khan, Governor of Jatah 

or Moghulistan, i, 252, 253, 254 
Tukharistan (Tukhara), i, 10, 135, 153, 

160, 161, 165, 167, 174, 181, 204 
Tuli (son of Chenghiz Khan), i, 222; 

destroys Herat, 225 
Tumen, Turkish Chief, i, 143 
Tung, Khakan of the Western Turks, i, 


Tun (modern Ferdaus), i, 245 and /con- 
note, 246 
Turan, i, 125 
Turbat-i-Shaykh-Jam, i, 250, 274, 299, 


Turfan, i, 119, 151, 152, 153 

Turgesh tribe, i, 166, 167 

Turkey, i, 261; Shah Abbas attempts to 
regain western provinces annexed by, 
3125 Russia unwilling to face war with, 



327; treaty with Russia for dismember- 
ment of Persia, 327; provinces held by, 
3285 3315 Nadir makes truce with, 
332; 3335 Nadir decides to start cam- 
paign against, 334; Russia declares war 
on, 336 

Turkistan, Chinese (or Sin-Kiang), i, 6, 

Turko- German Mission to the Amir 
during the Great War: Amir's declara- 
tion of neutrality, ii, 2465 entry of 
Turkey into the War, 246; Amir's 
statement to British Agent at Kabul, 
247; German influence in Middle East, 
2485 German Emperor visits Con- 
stantinople, 248; German activities in 
Persian Gulf, 249; gains influence in 
Persia, 251; Turko-German Mission 
to Afghanistan, 252; German agents in 
Persia, 252; the Mission of Wassmuss, 
25 3 j formation of the South Persia 
Rifles, 253; failure of von der Goltz, 
2545 differences between Germans and 
Turks, 254; Turko-German Mission to 
Afghanistan, 254; reception at Herat, 
2555 arrival at Kabul, 256; attitude of 
Amir, 256; Turko-German Mission at 
Kabul, 2565 the Amir's diplomacy, 
257; dismissal of the Mission, 258 

Turkoman: Persian campaigns against, ii, 
88 j Russian defeat of, 89, 90 

Turko-Persian Treaty of 1639, i, 335 

Turks, 13, 15; rise to power, 142-143; 
relations with Noshirwan, 143; con- 
quest of the Northern Turks, 150; 334, 

336, 350 
Turshiz, i, 256 
Tus, i, 178, 184, 199, 200 
Tyre, siege and capture by Alexander the 

Great, i, 61, 76, 84 

Ubaidulla Khan, i, 305 

Ubaydulla (nephew and successor of Shay- 
bani Khan), i, 287 

Ubaydulla (son of Ziyad bin Abihi), i, 160 

Uch, fortress of, i, 211 and footnote^ 259 

Uddiyana, province of, i, 155 

Udny, Richard (later Sir Richard), ii, 1785 
Chief Commissioner on Boundary Com- 
mission, 183 

Udny Commission, ii, 183 et seq.; siege of 
Chitral, 184; Umra Khan and, 184; 
claims of Abdur Rahman, 185; the 
expedition into Kafiristan, 185 

Uighur tribe, i, 1 84 

Ulam-Buriash, Kassite Monarch of Baby- 
lonia, i, 26 

Uljaitu (brother and successor of Ghazan 
Khan), i, 241 and footnote^ intercourse 
with Europe, 241} campaigns of, 242$ 
revolt of Fakhr-ud-Din, 243-244 

Ulugh Beg (son of Shah Rukh), i, 2685 
interest in astronomy, 269; death, 269 

Ulugh Mir%a^ i, 280, 285 

Umaira, Queen (wife of King Zahir), ii, 

Umarkot, i, 345 

Umayyad dynasty, i, 159, 168, 1695 over- 
throw of, 171, 172, 173 

Umra Khan of Jandol, besieges British 
force at Chitral, ii, 184, 185 

Und, i, 156 

Uppis of Partakka, i, 83 

Ural Mountains, i, 278 

Urartu, Kingdom of, i, 28, 40, 41 

Ur dynasty, i, 22-23; conquest of Elam 
and Lulubium, 22; Elamite^iA'vasion, 


Urganj, capital of Khwarizm, capture of, 

i, 222, 223 
Urghundeh, ii, 1 1 
Urtaku, King, i, 30 
Urtupa, battle of, i, 257 
Urumia (Urumiea, or Urmia), Lake, i, 35, 

37, 112, 236, 312 

Uzbeg, Khan of the Golden Horde, i, 242 
Uzbegs, i, 10, 13, 267, 269, 270, 283, 

284; defeated by Shah Ismail, 285; 

defeat of, at Pul-i-Sanghin, 286; defeat 

of Baber at Kul-i-Malik, 287; 301; 

annex Badakhshan, 305; dispute over 

Herat between Persians and, 306; 307, 

3'3> 3H 3i5 3 1 ?* 3' 8 > 345> 34-6, 
384; ii, 63 

Vahri-Datya (Oxus), River, i, 34 
Valerian, Emperor, i, 127; capture by 

Shapur, 127 

Vambe*ry, Arminius, ii, 85 
Van, sack of, by Tamerlane, i, 256 
Vardan-Khudat, king of Bukhara, i, 162 
Varuna, god, i, 34 

Vasudeva I, Kushan monarch, i, 121 
Vendidad, the, i, 9, 33 
Venice, i, 248 
Ventidius, Publius, Roman general, i, 


Vernoe, Fort, ii, 86 
Victoria, Lake, ii, 180, 182 
Victoria, Queen, ii, 98, 102 
Vikramaditya, Raja, vide Himu the 

" Corn-Chandler " 
Viswas Rao (son of the Pesh'wa)^ i, 3607 

Vitkavich, Captain, i, 398, 400, 401, 


Volga, River, i, 245 
Vologases (brother of Firuz), i, 1 37 
Vologases I, King of Parthia, 1,113 
Vologases II, i, 114 
Vologases III, i, 1 1 5 
Vologases IV of Parthia, i, 1 16 


Vologases V, i, 116 

Vonones, Parthian Prince, i, 100 

Wade, Captain C. W., i, 394, 405; ii, i, 9, 

Wahab, Major, ii, 187 

Wakhan, district of, i, 2, 246; ii, 175, 181 

Wakhijir Pass, i, 6 

Waksh-ab, River, i, 7 

Waller, Frances Tezeena, ii, 36 footnote, 
54 footnote 

Waller, Major, ii, 36 

Wana, ii, 278 

Wapshare, Lieutenant-General, storming 
of the Spin-Baldak fort, ii, 281 

WassnfUsif (German agent), ii, 249 

Wathik, Caliph, i, 180 

Waziristan, i, 3 

Wei dynasty, i, 149 

Welid, Caliph, i, 164 

Wellesley, Colonel Arthur, i, 375 

Weasels, C., 308 footnote 

White, Major (afterwards Field-Marshal 
Sir) George, ii, 117, 149; on battle of 
Kandahar, 149 

Wild, Brigadier-General, ii, 38, 39 

Wima Kadphises II, i, 118, 120 

Winchester, Bishop of, i, 231 

Wolseley, Sir Garnet, ii, 136 

Wood, Lieutenant John, i, 401, 402 foot- 

Woodburn, Captain, ii, 23 

Woolley, Sir Leonard, i, 17 footnc(e, 21, 
35 footnote 

Wu-sun, the, i, 98 

Wu-ti, Emperor, i, 98 

Wymer, Colonel, ii, 22 

Xenophon, i, 39, 45; retreat of the Ten 

Thousand, 55 
Xerxes, invasion of Hellas, i, 51, 52 

Yadyar Mir*a (a great-grandson of Gauhar 
Shah), i, 270 

Yahya bin Abdulla, Prince, i, 176 

Yahya Ghuri, Prince of Ghur, i, 197 

Yahya (son of Khalid), i, 176 

Yakub bia Lais, Saffar, i, 180, 181, 182, 

Yakub Khan (son of Shir Ali): mission 
to the Shah, ii, 75; reoccupies Kandahar, 

076$ rebellion of, against Shir Ali, 81; 
captures Herat, 81-82; surrenders to 
Shir Ali, 82; reappointed Governor of 
Herat, 825 100, 101, 104, 112; 
succeeds Shir Ali as Amir, 113; signs 
Treaty of Gandamak with Britain, 1 14; 
massacre of British mission to Kabul, 
114-116; defeated at battle of Charasia, 
117; abdication of, 1 1 8; 130 

Yakut, Persian geographer, i, 170, 222 

Yamin-i-Nizam, Persian Commissioner, 

ii, 209 
Yarkand, i, 119, 120, 121, 156, 220, 

247, 309 

Yarkand, River, i, 6 
Yar Muhammad Khan, Vizier of Kamran 

Af/nsa, i, 400, 408, 410; ii, 8, 22, 62; 

seizes and plunders Shah Kamran, 62; 

conspires against Kohandil Khan, 62, 

63; campaigns of, 63 
Yasodarman, leader of the rising against 

King Mihirakula, i, 1 39 
Yasur, Prince, the Nikudari, i, 244 and 


Yate, Sir Charles, ii, 163 
Yathrib (now termed Medina), i, 157 
Yavanas, the, i, 90, 96, 97, 101 
Yelui Tashi, founder of Kara Khitai 

dynasty, i, 214, 215 
Yemen, the, i, 175 
Yermuk, battle of, i, 158 
Yezd, i, 169,245, 326, 349 
Yezdigird I (the Wicked), i, 133 
Yezdigird II, relations with Rome and the 

White Huns, i, 136 
Yezdigird III, last Sasanian monarch, i, 


Yczid II, the campaign of, i, 164-165 
Yissugay (father of Chenghiz Khan), i, 

Yonoff, Colonel, Russian officer, illegally 

arrests Captain Younghusband and Lieu- 
tenant Davidson, ii, 179 
Younghusband, Captain (later Sir) Francis, 

illegally arrested by Colonel Yonoff, ii, 

179; 240 
Yueh-chi, the, i, 98; conquest of Bactria, 

100; 118, 120, 134 
Yuen dynasty, i, 229 
Yulatan, ii, 163 

Yule, Sir Henry, i, i^footnote^ 235 f oof- 
note , 245 footnote 
Yunus Khan, i, 270, 277 
Yusufzais, the: Baber'a campaign against, 

i, 290; 295; 307,319, 344 

Zadracarta, capital of Hyrcania, i, 63 

Zafar-Nama, i, 259 

Zagros Mountains, i, 20, 22 

Zahir Shah, King, ii, 328 et seq.\ accession 

of, 328; summary of his career, 329 
Zainab (sister of Husayn), i, 338 
Zakariya Khan, Governor of Lahore, i, 


Zama, battle of, i, 86 
Zaman Shah; accession of, i, 370, 371; 

his policy of, 371; rebellion in the 

Punjab, 372; invades Sind, 372; 377; 

conspiracy of the Chiefs, 381; the 

blinding of, 381-382; 383 
Zamasp (brother of Kobad), i, 137 



Zamindawar, i, 159, 189, 283 

Zanakhan, ii, 77 

Zanasana of Partakka, i, 83 

Zanzibar, i, 232 

Zarah, i, 256 

Zarangia, i, 69 

Zaranj (medieval Zahidan), i, 159, 256; 

ii, 92 

Zaranka (modern Seistan), i, 47, 48 
Zargan, i, 331 ^ 
Zaydan, Jurji, i, 169 and footnote , 176 and 

Zcla, i, i T I 

Zelenoi, General, ii, 161 
Zemarchus, the Cicilian, i, 143 
Zenobia, i, 128 
Zetland, Lord, Secretary of State for India, 

" 334 

Zeugma, i, 122 

Zhob Valley, ii, 278 

Ziyad, i, 173-174 

Ziyad bin Abihi, i, 160 

Ziyad bin Salih, Governor of Bukhara, i, 


Zoroaster, the Prophet, i, 65 
Zoroastrianism, i, 87, 117, 120, 134, 


Zugmayer, Dr., German Agent, ii, 252 
Zuhak, legendary monarch, i, 189 
Zu-Kar, battle of, i, 146, 158 
Zulfikar Khan (elder son of Muhammad 

Zaman Khan), i, 330; heads Abdali 

rebellion against Nadir Shah, 332-333; 

338 . ' 

Zulfikar Pass, i, 2j ii, 166 
Zuzan, i, 223 


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